4.2 Undergraduate Admissions
Every student admitted as an undergraduate in any USG institution must meet the requirements for one of the categories listed below and must meet any additional requirements that may be prescribed by the institution. Applicants should be advised that meeting minimum requirements will not guarantee admission at any institution. Institutions may set additional and/or higher requirements than listed here.
Except as explicitly permitted in this Policy Manual, any exceptions to these admissions policies may be made only with written approval of the USG chief academic officer. Exceptions to these admissions policies will also be reviewed by the Board biennially to ascertain how such action impacts institutions within a given sector.
Students must submit transcripts of all secondary and college work and must follow the application procedures specified by the institution to which they are applying.
4.2.1 Admission Requirements for Programs Leading to the Baccalaureate Degree
These policies apply to first time freshmen as well as to those who have not earned the equivalent of thirty (30) semester hours of transferable college credit.
Students applying for freshman admissions to a USG institution must meet the following criteria.
Required High School Curriculum
Completion of the USG’s Required High School Curriculum (“RHSC”) requirements and graduation from a high school accredited by a regional accrediting association (such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) or the Georgia Accrediting Commission or from a public school regulated by a school system and state department of education.
Students applying to any institution must present credit for sixteen (16) specified units. Students who graduate from high school in 2012 or later must present credits for seventeen (17) specified units. The 16 (17 for students who graduate in 2012 or later) specified USG units are:
- MATHEMATICS: Four (4) units of Mathematics, including Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. For students who graduate from a Georgia Public School in 2012 or later, the 4 units of Mathematics must include a course at the level of Math 3 or higher.
- ENGLISH: Four (4) units of English which have as their emphasis grammar and usage, literature (American, English, World), and advanced composition skills.
- SCIENCE: Three (3) units of science, with at least one laboratory course from the life sciences and one laboratory course from the physical sciences. Students who graduate in 2012 or later must have four (4) units of science. Georgia Public high School graduates must have at least one (1) unit of biology, one (1) unit of physical science or physics, and one (1) unit of chemistry, earth systems, environmental science, or an advanced placement science course.
- SOCIAL SCIENCE: Three (3) units of social science, with at least one (1) course focusing on United States studies and one (1) course focusing on world studies.
- FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Two (2) units in the same foreign language emphasizing speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Two (2) units of American Sign Language may be used to satisfy this requirement.
In addition to these minimum requirements, students are encouraged to take additional academic units in high school to improve their probability for admission and success.
Effective Fall semester 2011, presidents of state and two-year colleges at their option shall require one of the following: a) submission of SAT/ACT test scores and meeting of the Freshman Index, as described below; or b) a minimum high school grade point average (HSGPA) and mandatory placement testing in lieu of SAT/ACT test scores for admissions.
A designated score on the Freshman Index (“FI”), which is based on a combination of a student’s SAT I or ACT assessment scores and high school grade point average (HSGPA). The Freshman Index is:
- FI = 500 x (HSGPA) + SAT Verbal/Critical Reading + SAT I Math (or)
- FI = 500 x (HSGPA) + (ACT Composite x 42) + 88
The minimum FI required for admission to a:
- Research university is 2500;
- Regional university is 2040;
- State university is 1940; and,
- State or two-year college is 1830.
In addition to the FI, students must have a minimum SAT I Verbal score of 430 and Mathematics score of 400 (or ACT equivalent) for admission to a university (research, regional, or state).
Students without these minimum scores but with SAT I scores of at least 330 Verbal and 310 Mathematics may be considered for admission to a two-year college, but will be required to exempt or exit learning support (“LS”) in the areas of deficiency.
Institutions may set higher requirements for admission. Students meeting the minimum FI requirements are not guaranteed admission.
(BoR Minutes, August 2010)
Students may also be admitted as freshmen based on alternative evidence of college readiness. Following are modified or additional requirements for specific groups of applicants.
Limited Admissions Category
In recognition of the fact that a limited number of students do not meet established standards but do demonstrate special potential for success, institutions are authorized to grant admission to a limited number of such students. Institutions will use multiple measures whenever possible, such as interviews, portfolios, and records of experiential achievements, for students being considered for Limited Admission.
The number of students who may be granted Limited Admissions will be restricted based on institutional sectors, with two-year colleges allowed the highest percentage for Limited Admissions. Nontraditional freshmen will not be included in the Limited Admissions percentage allowed for each institution.
The FI required for Limited Admission to a:
- Research university is 2020;
- Regional university, 1830; and
- State university, 1790.
In addition to the FI, Limited Admissions, students must have a minimum SAT Verbal/Critical Reading score of 430 and Mathematics score of 400 (or ACT equivalent) for admission to a university (research, regional, or state). Students with SAT I (or ACT equivalent) scores of at least 330 Verbal and 310 Math may be considered for Limited Admission to a two-year college, but will be required to exempt or exit LS in the areas of deficiency.
At research, regional, and state universities, students granted Limited Admission must also have completed the sixteen (16)-unit Required High School Curriculum, and students who graduate in 2012 or later must have completed seventeen (17) units. At state and two-year colleges, students may be considered for Limited Admission if they have a high school diploma or GED and meet the minimum SAT/ACT score requirements. A GED is acceptable only if the student’s high school class has graduated. Certificates of attendance or special education diplomas are not acceptable.
Students who enter under the Limited Admissions category, including Presidential Exceptions as noted below, must make up any Required High School Curriculum units deficiencies in accordance with USG procedures. They must also be screened, as applicable, for placement in LS courses using a placement test administered by a USG institution and must meet USG criteria for exemption or exit of learning support in reading, English, and mathematics.
For students transferring from a Commission on Colleges (COC)-accredited Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) technical college, comparable scores from the TCSG technical college may be used according to guidelines issued by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer.
Presidents of USG institutions may grant exceptions to the Required High School Curriculum units and FI requirements for Limited Admissions if the student shows promise for academic success in college and has at least a high school diploma or GED credential. Institutions will be required to report to the USG chief academic officer on those students granted Presidential Exceptions. Presidential Exceptions must be included as part of the institution’s maximum percentage for Limited Admissions.
Alternative Requirements for Home-Schooled Students and Graduates of Non-Accredited High Schools
Applicants from home schools or graduates of non-accredited high schools may validate the Required High School Curriculum in an alternative way. SAT scores and satisfactory documentation of equivalent competence in each of the areas at the college-preparatory level may be used in lieu of the FI and Required High School Curriculum unit requirements.
A student whose SAT Composite (Verbal/Critical Reading plus Mathematics) (or ACT equivalent) score is at or above the average SAT score of the previous year’s fall semester first-time freshmen admitted to the USG institution to which he/she is applying and who has completed the equivalent of each of the areas as documented by a portfolio of work and/or other evidence that substantiates completion of the Required High School Curriculum qualifies for consideration for admission.
Students in this category must also meet the minimum SAT Verbal/Critical Reading requirement and the minimum SAT Mathematics requirement (or ACT equivalent) for the sector to which they apply.
Applicants who achieve designated scores on each of the following SAT II Subject Tests in an area will be considered to have demonstrated equivalent competence and do not need to submit additional documentation in that area: English Writing, Literature, Math IC or Math IIC, American History & Social Studies, World History, Biology, and one of the following: Chemistry or Physics.
Students admitted in this category with satisfactory documentation of competence in all areas will not be counted in the institution’s Limited Admissions (including Presidential Exceptions) category. Those with qualifying SAT I scores and documentation of partial completion of the Required High School Curriculum may be admitted on the same basis and with the same conditions as other students with deficiencies.
Admission of Students with Outstanding Scores
Students who demonstrate very high academic ability by achieving a composite SAT Composite (Verbal/Critical Reading plus Math) score in the upper five percent (5%) of national college-bound seniors according to the most recent report from the College Board and who show other evidence of college readiness may be admitted under this section. An ACT score which is equivalent to this SAT score may also be used.
Institutions must carefully evaluate such students to determine their ability to benefit from college coursework. Students must satisfy any Required High School Curriculum deficiencies in areas other than English or mathematics through college coursework.
Students admitted in this section will not count in an institution’s Limited Admissions exceptions.
Admission of International Students
Freshman international students may be admitted in another admissions category or may be admitted in a separate category for international students under established USG procedures. If these students do not meet the alternative USG admission procedures, they might be considered as Presidential Exceptions.
Admission of Students with Disabilities
Because the core curriculum of each institution requires students to complete college-level courses in English, mathematics, social science, and science, all students must complete the Required High School Curriculum in these areas. Students with disabilities that preclude the acquisition of a foreign language may petition for admission without this requirement according to procedures established by the USG.
Students with disabilities are expected to meet the sector’s minimum SAT or ACT score requirements, but should request the appropriate testing accommodations from the agencies administering the SAT or ACT.
Dual Enrollment/Joint Enrollment/Early Admission of High School Students
The USG recognizes the need to provide academically talented high school students with opportunities for acceleration of their formal academic programs. This recognition has led to the development of three organized programs:
- A dual enrollment program in which a student, while continuing his/her enrollment in high school, enrolls in a course(s) for both high school and college credit.
- A joint enrollment program in which a student, while continuing his/her enrollment in high school as a junior or senior, enrolls in courses for college credit.
- An early admissions program in which the student enrolls as a full-time college student following completion of the junior year in high school.
The minimum admissions standards for the dual enrollment, joint enrollment, and early admissions programs have been developed to allow certain students to receive both high school and college credit for some courses. Procedures for admission, course selection, and instruction can be found in Section 3.0 of the Academic Affairs Handbook (BoR Minutes, September 2004).
The USG offers residential programs for gifted, talented, and motivated students at two institutions: the Advanced Academy of Georgia at the University of West Georgia, and the Georgia Academy of Mathematics, Engineering, and Sciences at Middle Georgia State College. Admissions and program requirements are established by the individual institutions (BoR Minutes, September 2004).
Early Colleges enhance students’ opportunities to accelerate their education by participating in a joint high school/college program. Each Early College represents an approved partnership between a Georgia public school system and a USG institution. Students in USG-recognized Early Colleges are eligible for enrollment in college courses while they are enrolled in the Early College (BoR Minutes, September 2004).
Students with fewer than thirty (30) transferable semester credit hours must meet the freshman admission requirements at the institution to which they are transferring. Students who have earned thirty (30) or more semester hours must have completed any learning support and Required High School Curriculum deficiency requirements if transferring from a USG institution. Depending on the sector of the institution to which students transfer, students must meet the transfer grade point average, as indicated in the following table:
|MINIMUM SYSTEM ADMISSION STANDARDS FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS|
|SECTOR||30-59 *SEMESTER CREDITS||60 OR MORE SEMESTER CREDITS|
|Research Universities||At least 2.30 GPA** and have met all LS and RHSC requirements||At least 2.30 GPA|
|Regional and State Universities||At least 2.00 GPA** and have met all LS and RHSC requirements||At least 2.00 GPA|
|State and Associate Degree Colleges||Eligible to continue or return to sending institution||Eligible to continue or return to sending institution|
*Transferable Hours are defined as hours which would be acceptable by the receiving institution according to the USG’s and the receiving institution’s prevailing policies. Excluded are institutional credit courses, Required High School Curriculum deficiency makeup courses, and vocational courses. These hours should include transferable hours earned at all postsecondary institutions attended.
** Transfer GPA is defined as the GPA calculated on all transferable hours (see previous definition) plus all attempted but unearned hours at regionally accredited institutions in courses applicable to transfer programs at the receiving institution.
Students completing non-transfer associate degrees (e.g., Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science in various health areas, and Associate of Applied Technology) at regionally accredited institutions will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine their eligibility for admission.
In addition to the minimum transfer standards listed above, students must meet higher USG and/or institutional standards to be considered for priority transfer admission. Institutions must give priority consideration for admission to students transferring from another USG institution who meet these established standards. Students meeting these higher standards would be ensured of receiving priority consideration for admission. In addition, transfer students must be given the same consideration as native students in determining program admissibility.
In order to make the USG more accessible to citizens who are not of traditional college-going age and to encourage a higher proportion of Georgians to benefit from life-long learning, institutions may admit as many non-traditional students as is appropriate based on institutional mission, academic programs, and success in retaining and graduating non-traditional students.
The number of non-traditional students an institution enrolls will not be counted against the percent of Limited Admissions allowed each institution. Institutions may set additional criteria for admission of non-traditional students.
Non-traditional freshmen are defined as individuals who meet all of the following criteria:
- Have been out of high school at least five years and whose high school class graduated at least five years ago;
- Hold a high school diploma from an accredited or approved high school as specified in Section 188.8.131.52 of this Policy Manual or have satisfactorily completed the GED; and,
- Have earned fewer than 30 transferable semester credit hours.
All non-traditional freshmen must be screened for placement in learning support courses using a placement test administered by a USG institution and must meet USG criteria for exemption or exit of learning support in reading, English, and mathematics.
For students transferring from a Commission on Colleges (COC)-accredited TCSG college, comparable scores from the TCSG college may be used according to guidelines issued by the USG chief academic officer.
As an alternative, an institution may allow non-traditional freshmen who have within the past seven (7) years posted SAT scores of at least 500 in both Verbal/Critical Reading and Mathematics or ACT scores of at least 21 on both English and Mathematics to exempt the placement test.
Non-traditional transfer students are defined as individuals who meet all of the following criteria:
- Have been out of high school at least five years or whose high school class graduated at least five (5) years ago; and,
- Have earned thirty (30) or more transferable hours of college credit, as defined in Section 184.108.40.206 of this Policy Manual.
A non-traditional transfer student can be admitted, according to the institution’s policy, if his/her transfer GPA is below the transfer standard for the institution’s sector. These students do not count against the number of Limited Admissions allowed for transfer students at that institution. Institutions should require placement criteria as appropriate.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Georgia Constitution, the USG establishes the following rules with respect to enrollment of persons 62 years of age or older in USG programs. To be eligible for enrollment under this provision such persons:
- Must be residents of Georgia, 62 years of age or older at the time of registration, and shall present a birth certificate or other comparable written documentation of age to enable the institution to determine eligibility.
- May enroll as a regular or auditing student in courses offered for resident credit on a “space available” basis without payment of fees, except for supplies, laboratory or shop fees.
- Shall meet all USG and institution undergraduate or graduate admission requirements. However, institutions may exercise discretion in exceptional cases where circumstances indicate that certain requirements such as high school graduation and minimum test scores are inappropriate. In those instances involving discretionary admission institutions will provide diagnostic methods to determine whether or not participation in Learning Support will be required prior to enrollment in regular credit courses. Reasonable prerequisites may be required in certain courses.
- Shall have all usual student and institutional records maintained. However, institutions will not report such students for budgetary purposes.
- Must meet all USG, institution, and legislated degree requirements if they are degree-seeking students.
- May not enroll in dental, medical, veterinary, or law schools under the provisions of this policy.
System-wide Implementation Guidelines
In recognition of the fact that a strong predictor of college success is a rigorous high school curriculum, USG institutions will award academic credit for appropriate courses in the USG core curriculum for corresponding subject areas in a completed International Baccalaureate (“IB”) Diploma Program in which the student obtained designated end of course assessment scores.
Both Standard Level (college preparatory) and Higher Level (college comparable) courses will be considered for credit in a completed Diploma Program, as the program does not allow students to take all Higher Level courses. Higher Level end- of-course assessment scores of four or more and Standard Level scores of five or better suggest that the IB Program work is comparable to a college course.
The course credit schema in the table below will be used system-wide, with allowances made for variable credits in each category to account for labs, and on occasion, for depth of material covered in the IB Program subject area that may be comparable to more than one college level course.
|Semester Credit Hours Granted|
|Score||Standard Level||Higher Level|
|4||0||3 - 4|
|5||0 - 4||3 - 8|
|6 - 7||3 - 8||3 - 12|
The particular courses for which students receive college credit may vary from institution to institution, depending on what courses the institution offers. Determinations of course comparability will be made by the respective departments. Institutions shall, however, attempt to have consistency across the USG on common numbered core courses.
The total college course credits awarded for IB assessments may not exceed 24.
All institutions shall have a widely disseminated policy governing the award of course credits for IB assessments. The policy will apply to both resident and non-resident students.
Institutions will collect data on IB students, analyze the data, and recommend revisions to the policy if warranted.
A student may opt not to accept credits if he/she sees that acceptance of credits may disadvantage him/her. Further, if a student believes that the assessment of his/her work from the IB Diploma Program and subsequent awarding of credits for such is in error, he/she may file an appeal with the appropriate department chair and request a re-assessment. As with other academic matters, if the issue is not satisfactorily resolved at the department level, the student may then appeal to the dean of the respective college, with a final appeal to the vice president for academic affairs, whose decision in the matter will be final.
Individual Institution Implementation Guidelines
Along with the system-wide policy, individual institutions may choose to offer additional benefits. After the appropriate core courses are credited, if the student (diploma completer) has additional acceptable IB assessment scores (4 or better for HL, 5 or better for SL) that have not been awarded course credits, individual institutions may award credit for other lower-division courses outside of the core for up to a maximum of 24 credits (total).
Institutions may choose to award other benefits to diploma completers as well (e.g. early registration, parking pass, etc). If that is the case, details will be available on the institution’s website.
Institutions may choose to award credit to students who did not complete the diploma program but were awarded a certificate for completion of a specific subject area for Higher Level courses with an assessment score of 4 or better.
4.2.2 Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Programs Not Leading to the Baccalaureate Degree
220.127.116.11 Admission to Career Programs
Admissions requirements for career certificates and career degrees (Associate of Applied Science degrees and Associate of Science degrees in allied health areas) depend upon the extent to which the general education component is based on Core Curriculum courses.
There are two sets of admissions requirements, as specified in Section 3.02.01 of the Academic Affairs Handbook, for:
- Programs with a Core-based general education component allowing more than twelve (12) semester hours of Core curriculum course work; and,
- Programs with non-Core general education components allowing twelve (12) or fewer semester hours of Core Curriculum coursework.
Students admitted in the career degree or certificate category who have not completed a career degree may apply for admission to programs that lead to a baccalaureate degree if they meet regular or Limited Admission requirements. Students admitted in this category can be admitted into a program leading to a baccalaureate only if
- On admission to the institution they would have met the requirements for regular or Limited Admission; or;
- They show exceptional promise and are admitted as a Presidential Exception. Students admitted in this category must fulfill all learning support and CPC requirements.
18.104.22.168 Admission of Students to Certificate Programs at Designated Vocational Divisions
Students admitted to vocational divisions at Bainbridge College, Clayton State University, College of Coastal Georgia, and Dalton State College are not required to meet the CPC and FI standards for regular or Limited Admissions. However, they are required to meet the admissions standards established by the TCSG for the same or similar programs, and they must meet prerequisite requirements for Core Curriculum courses. A student seeking admission to a transfer program must meet the requirements for freshman or transfer admissions.
22.214.171.124 Admission of Non-Degree Students
Institutions may permit students to enroll as non-degree students for a maximum of twelve (12) semester credit hours, including institutional credit. Students may not enroll in any course for which there is a learning support prerequisite unless they have been screened for and have exempted the relevant learning support course.
Institutions may permit students who have earned the baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll as non-degree students in courses with no limitation on the number of hours of undergraduate credit these students can earn.
126.96.36.199 Admission of Transient Students
An applicant who is enrolled in one institution and who wishes to take courses temporarily in another institution shall submit the documents outlined in Section 3.04 of the Academic Affairs Handbook.
188.8.131.52 Admission of Auditors
Students who submit evidence of graduation from a high school, as specified in Section 184.108.40.206 of this Policy Manual, or a GED certificate may register as auditors. Under extraordinary circumstances, the president may waive the requirement of high school diploma or equivalent. Students registered as auditors shall be required to pay the regular tuition and fees for enrollment.
4.2.3 Additional Admissions Policies
In addition to the general admissions policies described above, each USG institution may increase the requirements, entry levels, and/or testing procedures for general admission to the institution or to special programs at the undergraduate or graduate levels provided they do not conflict with USG policies. Institutions should make available appropriate admissions information to students.
220.127.116.11 Referral of Students to Other Institutions
18.104.22.168 Right to Refuse Admission
An applicant may be declared eligible for admission, registration, enrollment, or re-enrollment at a USG institution only after satisfying all requirements established by the USG and the institution concerned. The institution shall have the right to examine and appraise the character, personality, and qualifications of the applicant. In order that this examination and appraisal may be made, the applicant shall furnish to the institution such biographical and other information, including references, as may be required.
Each USG institution reserves the right to refuse admission to:
- A non-resident of Georgia.
- An applicant whose admission would cause the institution to exceed its maximum capacity.
- An applicant whose request for admission is only to a program that is already filled.
- An applicant whose transcript(s) are from an unaccredited institution or who is otherwise ineligible for admission.
22.214.171.124 Right to Limit Admissions
126.96.36.199 Social Security Numbers
The USG is dedicated to insuring the privacy and proper handling of confidential information pertaining to students and employees.
The Social Security number shall be required from all entering students for a permanent and lasting record. When possible, an alternative number will be assigned and used by institutions for all purposes that do not require the Social Security number.
In no event shall grades be posted by using the Social Security number.
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