Roughly 7% Of Incoming Freshman At North Dakota Universities Didn’t Meet Minimum Admissions Standards
One of the biggest problems with higher education is that we’ve turned a college degree into an entitlement rather than something to be earned. We’ve made it so that students are entitled to financing for their college careers, and even entitled to admission to state-run universities.
This has been a good deal for the universities themselves, who get their money up front, but not such a great deal for students many of whom have no business being in college either because they aren’t prepared, academically, or simply have no direction in their education goals other than to obtain some generic degree.
But, again, the priority of higher education has been quantity over quality. Packing more students onto campuses to harvest more tuition and fees while justifying larger campuses and bigger budgets from the taxpayers. This has resulted in atrocious graduation rates. Less than half of students leave North Dakota’s two largest universities – NDSU and UND – with a degree six years after first enrolling. It’s even worse at some of the state’s two year universities. Despite wanting to move into four-year degree programs, Williston State College is currently graduating just 1/3rd of its two-year degree students after three years.
“It’s criminal, but it’s been that way around the country,” Minnesota State University-Moorhead president Edna Szymanski told Ryan Johnson at the Grand Forks Herald. “We haven’t had a significant conversation about success. The metrics have always been on enrollment, not on success.”
Something else Johnson uncovers in his article is that a significant number of incoming freshman in the North Dakota University system don’t actually meet minimum academic requirements for admission:
North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani said of NDSU’s 2,515 freshmen, about one in 15 – or 6.9 percent – earned a composite ACT score of 18 or lower. That’s well below the university’s required score of 21 or higher for automatic admission.
The rate of low test scores is even higher at UND, which requires a minimum score of 18 for automatic acceptance. About 7.2 percent of UND’s 2,437 freshmen enrolled and registered as of Thursday morning scored 18 or lower on the standardized test that has a top score of 36; the national average is 21.1.
This is something Shirvani wants to address with a plan, widely touted by higher education apologists in the state, that would raise admission standards. Shirvani wants to push the North Dakota University System to a quality-over-quantity formula for admissions, and as far as that goes it’s a decent development.
We’re still going to have problems, though, as long as some view admission to college as an entitlement. I don’t think we’re going to see much in the way of a solution to this problem until we get the government completely out of higher education. Let education be a transaction between student and school as all government policy intended to promote higher education has done is bloat the expense of higher education while diminishing the value.Tags: hamid shirvani, higher education, North Dakota News, north dakota state university, University of North Dakota, williston state college