“It will help improve the quality of our student body,” UTSA President Ricardo Romo said about the recently approved proposal to increase the admissions standards for UTSA.
No changes will be made to first quartile applicants; they will still be offered admission without consideration to these scores. However, students in the second, third, and fourth quartile; transfer students; homeschooled students and students from non-ranking or non-accredited programs will be affected, starting in the fall of 2013.
According to Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs George Norton, “Standards are changing because UTSA needs to increase its graduation rates.” Norton explained that these rates are important because, “they ensure UTSA students are well served, and they reflect that UTSA is a good steward of state and student monies supporting the institution.”
Norton also mentioned that graduation rates are also a characteristic examined in the Tier One funding process.
In regard to planned future admission standard increases, Norton foretold, “We can expect a review of the requirements in 2015 to 2016 and will at that time determine if any additional changes should be proposed.”
Specifically, second quartile students will be required to have an SAT score of 1100 out of 1600, up from 960, which is a 14.6 percent increase. The ACT score requirement will increase from 20 to 24, a 20 percent increase. Applicants who do not meet these scores will still be considered for individual review.
Third and fourth quartile students were previously considered on an individual review basis, with no minimum score requirement; however, the new changes require third quartile students to have an SAT score of 1000 or an ACT score of 21 or greater just to be considered for individual review. Fourth quartile students must have minimum SAT score of 1100 and an ACT score of 24 plus just to be considered for admission.
“Students below the levels required for individual review can know in advance that we will probably deny their applications,” Norton said.
Transfer student GPA requirements for admission will increase from 2.0 to 2.25 out of a maximum of 4.0, or a 6.25 percent increase.
Students from accredited high schools that do not rank will be evaluated exactly like second quartile students: if they achieve the standardized testing requirements, they will be admitted. If they do not, they will be considered under individual review.
Homeschooled, GED, and non-accredited high school programs (ranking or not), will be treated like fourth quartile students.
Junior communication major Amy Medrano responded positively to the change.
“It’s definitely a challenge to the people who want to come here, but it is also a motivation to work harder (in high school). UTSA is trying to become more well known, so when it comes to that, more challenge is better. To get what we want, we’ve got to work hard,” Medrano said.