Education
7:20 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Wayne State toughens admissions standards

Wayne State University is changing its admissions standards and retention policies in an effort to boost graduation rates.

Wayne State used to admit students automatically based on a minimum gradepoint average or test scores.

Now, the university says it will take what it calls a more “holistic” approach to admissions, while expanding support systems for students.

Wayne State President Allan Gilmour says the university does want to boost its 31% six-year graduation rate.

Gilmour says Wayne State remains committed to educating many students from diverse and often challenged backgrounds. He says the new standards, and other support policies, will give those students a better chance of success.

“We want to reach down into the population, as far as we can go, and get students who can succeed at Wayne,” Gilmour said.

But by admitting students who are ill-equipped for college and unlikely to graduate, “We’re probably wasting their money and their time, and we’re wasting our money and our time as well,” Gilmour said. “The whole emphasis here is student success, and 31% doesn’t indicate enough student success.”

Both President Obama and Governor Snyder have pushed to use graduation rates as a benchmark for federal and state aid to universities.

But Gilmour says Wayne State’s interest in boosting student performance pre-dates those efforts.