UTSA freshmen admission standards change in 2008

There is no question that things are changing at UTSA, from the addition of academic and parking buildings, to the rise in tuition and fees and effective fall 2008, and now, the admissions criteria for first-time freshmen.

Students who applied for admission into UTSA for the fall of 2008 were the first to see a change in the university’s admission criteria in quite some time.

“I have been with the university about seven years, and this is the first time I have seen the admission criteria change in the time I have been here,” George Norton, assistant vice president for admissions and orientation said.

Admission criteria prior to the fall of 2008 stated students that graduated in the top 25 percent of their class were required to make an 830 on the SAT or a 17 on the ACT. Students who finished in the second 25 percent of their class needed an 870 on the SAT or an 18 on the ACT. Students finishing in the third 25 percent of their class needed a 920 on the SAT or a 19 on the ACT. Students that graduated in the fourth 25 percent of their class or had certain admission issues had to have a 970 on the SAT or a 20 on the ACT.

“The true intent and reason behind the change in admission criteria is to improve student success rates, and we feel that the new criteria does not favor any one group of students,” Norton said.

The total number of students who submitted applications (complete and incomplete) for the fall of 2008, as of August 15, 2008 was 20,700, which is up 5 percent from 2007’s 19,768. The total number of students granted admission into the university for the fall of 2008 was 15,443 up 2 percent from 2007’s 15,157.

The total number of first-time freshmen who submitted applications (complete and incomplete) for the fall of 2008 was 14,458 and the total number of freshmen admitted into the university for the fall of 2008 was 10,831.

“We will not know exactly how many of the 10,831 admitted freshmen enrolled in the university until after all of the census dates have passed and the numbers become official,” Norton said.

The total number of enrolled students (undergraduate and graduate) for the fall of 2007 was 28,533. After all the numbers become official in the upcoming months, Norton believes that the we will see around a 1/2 or a 1 percent increase of the total number of students enrolled.

The process in order to change the admission criteria took well over eight months to complete. Norton, along with other faculty and staff, was part of a discussion group that was at the head of the change.

According to Norton, there were several different proposals discussed, researched and studied before the final one was drawn up. In April of 2007, the selected proposal went before the UTSA faculty senate which granted approval. The proposal was then forwarded to the UT school system’s office which granted approval in July of 2007. According to UT System policy, any changes to admissions criteria must be published one year prior to the effective date.

“As soon as the proposal was granted approval and was set in place, we immediately published it in the August 2007 UTSA Information Bulletin,” Norton said. “With the new admissions standards published when it was, it met the UT school system’s policy of one year prior to effective date, so we were able to make those changes for the fall of 2008.

“As UTSA strives to become a premier institution of higher education, it will be developing strategies to ensure that students continue to have access to the university, while also being appropriately prepared for the rigors of a college education. This will ultimately be achieved through a combination of outreach programs to K-12, partnerships with the community colleges and admissions standards that promote college preparedness,” Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, John Frederick, said. “The university will only succeed if it translates student access into student success.”