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Those admitted to college with exceptions struggle

Published on -12/15/2013, 2:58 PM

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- A new report says students who enter Kansas public colleges without meeting minimum admissions standards often struggle to stay in school.

The research by the Kansas Board of Regents shows students admitted with exceptions to the standards have lower retention, graduation and course completion rates than students who meet the standards.

The findings will be presented to the Board of Regents this week (Dec. 16-21). The report was sought in 2012 by state lawmakers who were concerned about remedial courses at public universities, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/1bZdmVu ).

The report found that from 2010 through 2012, the percentage of freshmen admitted as exceptions who returned as sophomores ranged from 50.6 percent to 57.1 percent. The rate was 80 percent for those who met the standards.

"This is not surprising, given that many, though not all, exceptions have gaps in their educational preparation," it said.

To gain entrance to a regents school, freshmen from Kansas must score at least a 21 on the ACT, graduate in the top one-third of their high school class, or complete a pre-college curriculum with at least a 2.0 grade point average. But up to 10 percent of total freshmen admissions at each college are allowed in without meeting the standards.

During the most recent year in which statistics were available, The University of Kansas had the highest retention rates, with 64.9 percent of resident freshmen retained and 80 percent of non-resident freshmen retained.

Students who were admitted under the exceptions rule also graduated at a much lower rate than other students, according to the report, which analyzed six years of graduation rates.

For resident freshmen admitted as exceptions six years ago, 26.4 percent systemwide have graduated, compared with a rate of 59.2 percent for those who met admission standards.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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