Posted at 7:29 a.m., Friday, August 17, 2007
UNLV, Reno college admission standards raised
Associated PressRENO, Nev. Students wanting to attend Nevada's two universities will have to have better grades beginning next year under tougher admission standards approved by state regents.
The board on Thursday approved raising the required grade point average for admission to the University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 2.75 to 3.0 beginning in fall 2008.
Students also have the option of using the college entrance ACT and SAT scores to qualify.
Higher education officials said the tougher admissions policy is needed to further the universities' missions as research institutions.
They also said it could prevent students lacking academic skills from dropping out when they might be more successful starting at the state college or community college level.
But critics worry the move will mean fewer minority and low-income students will be accepted.
To counter those concerns, regents approved more special admissions for artistic, athletic or leadership skills, or students who have overcome hardships.
Before the vote, Chancellor Jim Rogers urged the board not to back down from the 3.0 requirement.
Rogers said grade inflation by teachers who want their students to earn the state's Millennium Scholarship has weakened it. He said it is difficult to convince businesses and other donors to invest in a product unless you can show it is continually improving.
"I have met with minority groups and I have told them that if raising the standards does not work, we would take another look at it," he said.
"I would hate to go back on this now," he said, saying that to do so "sends a message to the community that we're not really interested in building a world-class (higher education) system."
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, www.rgj.com