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Pilot Admissions Policy for USG’s Two-Year Colleges Extended

Atlanta — June 11, 2008

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) voted today to extend by three years a pilot admissions policy that, when first implemented in fall 2005, removed standardized tests as a criteria for admission to the USG’s two-year and state colleges. With today’s board action, however, the USG’s state colleges now have the option to resume requiring SAT/ACT scores for applicants seeking four-year baccalaureate degrees.

“We need more time to evaluate the true effects of relying solely on students’ high-school grade point averages as a predictor of their performance in college,” said USG Chief Operating Officer Rob Watts, to whom the affected institutions report. “The intent of this pilot was to make the two-year and state colleges more accessible to students, but we have to balance that desire with the need to ensure that entering students are academically well prepared to succeed in college.”

According to Watts, the regents’ decision to reinstate the SAT/ACT requirement for baccalaureate-degree-seeking students at the state colleges is aimed at encouraging applicants to choose more academically rigorous courses in high school in order to prepare to meet the admissions standards. He added that an evaluation of the effects of the pilot policy to date indicated that more students have been enrolling in learning support courses in the last few years, which may be attributable to the pilot admissions policy. “So far, the pilot policy does not appear to have significantly improved either the numbers or percentage of high-school students going on to college,” Watts said.

The pilot policy initially approved by the regents in 2005 requires a high-school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) of all students; a minimum 2.0 grade-point average for students who graduate from a high school college-prep curriculum; and a minimum 2.2 grade-point average for those who graduate from a technical curriculum. Completion of the 16-unit college-preparatory curriculum or the 13-unit technical-preparatory curriculum is required for students in programs leading to a baccalaureate degree.

With today’s board action extending the pilot over the next three years, the USG’s state colleges –Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Dalton State College, Gainesville State College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Gordon College, Macon State College and Middle Georgia College – have the discretion to consider SAT/ACT scores in the admissions process for baccalaureate-seeking applicants, beginning in fall 2009.

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