Raised admission standards proposed


Senators listen to Reesor discuss the new admission requirements. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

A program introduced to all North Dakota University System colleges two years ago by former Chancellor Hamid Shirvani was discussed at great length at Student Senate on April 27. A presentation of the Pathways to Student Success program by Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Reesor and Vice President for Finance and Operations Alice Brekke was met with many questions by members of senate.

Reesor and Brekke spoke about two areas of the proposed program — new admission requirements and a new tuition system.

The new admission requirements would require a 2.75 GPA and 21 ACT minimum, higher than the current 2.50 GPA requirement.

“High school GPA is the best predictor for college success,” Reesor said.

There also would be a scale for students who don’t meet those requirements, and each student would be looked at individually in order to determine if they would be eligible for admission.

“This gives the campus the flexibility to manage their own enrollment,” Reesor said. “We plan on maintaining the same freshman class. We’re not opposed to growth, as long as the resources are there to grow.”

The tuition changes would include changes to per-credit tuition hours, blending non-madatory fees into tuition rates, changes to on-campus versus online class tuition rates, program fee differential changes and residency rate differential changes.

Included in the program is a plan to change full-time student status from a minimum of 12 credits to a minimum of 15 credits. Tuition rates for out-of-state students would also change from 267 percent of in-state tuition to 175 percent of in-state tuition.

However, in-state students would see a tuition hike because they would be paying for more credits to be a full-time student.

“This will give a greater degree of transparency and clarity,” Brekke said. “We can say, ‘Here’s what it’s going to cost you and where it’s going.’”

The program will be proposed to the State Board of Higher Education in May for discussion at its July meeting. If it passes, changes will be announced in fall 2015 for implementation in fall 2016.

“We’ve been working on it, but there was not a lot to present to you until just recently,” Reesor said after several senators asked why it had not been brought up before.

Senators later discussed a resolution in opposition to this new program.

“It’s a numbers game to them,” Sen. Sean McClain said. “We need to protect the interests of our constituents. This is being disguised as a tuition hike.”

Bourke Lodewyk disagreed with some of the views other senators expressed.

“The university clearly has an interest in the product they’re creating and sending out into the world,” Lodewyk said.

Senate passed a resolution in opposition to the Pathways program.

Other business

Senate also passed a bill allocating $3,000 to the annual Study-a-Thon for the spring semester, which will take place May 11.

Senate also passed a bill allocating $98,000 from its investments to go toward a new study space in the basement of the Union. The project will cost approximately $330,000 with the rest of the funds coming from the McCannel Hall Bond Fee. Funds from the McCannel Hall Bond Fee would be sufficient to cover the entire project, but senators liked the idea of having a hand in the project.

“I like that Student Government has a stake in it,” Sen. Kristin Emmonds said. “We can control what is being done in the Union.”

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].