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10-Year USG Admissions Analysis Shows Good Progress in Attracting Strong Students

Atlanta — January 11, 2005

A 10-year analysis of freshmen entering the University System of Georgia presented to the Board of Regents today shows the System is drawing significantly more academically qualified students now, due to heightened admissions standards, the HOPE Scholarship program and the improved quality of the System’s 34 institutions.

The average combined SAT score of USG freshmen has risen from 994 in Fall 1995 to 1,042 in Fall 2004, thanks in large part to the six-year phase-in of higher admissions standards that began in 1996 and the impact of the HOPE Scholarship program, In addition, the number of traditional freshmen - those who enter college within five years of graduating from high school - has soared from 27,570 to 35,026 during this same period.

“Our students have met the challenge we set by raising the admissions bar,” said Senior Vice Chancellor for Academics and Fiscal Affairs Daniel S. Papp, who presented the admissions data as part of an admissions policy update. “Obviously, the number of freshmen has increased dramatically, and the quality of students has gone up as well. We have not scared students off by setting higher standards — they simply have worked harder, and are now coming to USG institutions better prepared.”

The proof lies not only in improved SAT scores, but the increased number of students who have completed College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) course requirements and the reduced demand among freshmen for learning-support courses that review the basic skills in math, English and reading necessary for college success. Papp reported that 89 percent of the freshmen admitted to USG institutions in Fall 2004 had completed the CPC course requirements, compared to 76 percent in Fall 1995, and only 16 percent of freshmen required learning support this past fall, compared to 27 percent in Fall 1995.

Average SAT scores, CPC-completion rates and learning-support rates vary among the different types of institutions within the University System of Georgia - research universities, regional universities, state universities, state colleges, and two-year colleges. Papp said that, as part of the process of raising admissions standards, the University System has consciously channeled students into the type of institution that can give them the best chance to succeed in college.

In his report, Papp recommended that the regents continue their current admissions policies for the USG’s research, regional and state universities. However, Papp said, it is time to review the admissions criteria used by the System’s two-year and state colleges to determine if they need updating. On Papp’s recommendation, the regents approved the establishment of a task force for this purpose, with recommendations to be presented back to the Board in April.

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