Admission standards raised

By Paul Kirk

NIU officials are telling junior college students that unless they have a GPA of 3.6 and an ACT score of 26, they shouldn’t even think about setting foot in NIU classrooms.

NIU President John La Tourette said the gist of the requirements were taken wrongly by some students and outside media.

“We want to encourage students to continue their education,” La Tourette said. “Those students who come in from junior college without these requirements have a lower graduation rate.”

La Tourette said these requirements were a rational way to restrict admissions, but it is a secondary consideration.

Under new requirements, many students transferring from such two-year colleges as Triton, Sauk Valley, Rock Valley and Oakton will be shut out of NIU.

La Tourette said many junior college students can complete an associate degree at a two-year college, removing many of their general electives and introductory courses from their NIU curriculum prior to admission.

Students completing a two-year degree will be able to enter NIU with a 2.0 grade point average.

Rock Valley College said they don’t know how many students these new requirements will affect.

La Tourette said that incoming freshmen may find that the admission standards for NIU are just as strict next year.

“NIU will focus on the class standing, GPA and core competency of incoming students,” La Tourette said.

He said students graduating from a junior college have a 75-80 percent graduation rate while students entering as freshman only have an average success rate of 55-60 percent.

“We will give primary preference to students with 60 hrs. or an associate degree from a junior college.”

La Tourette said NIU is not alone in its enrollment struggle. Eastern and Western are also in the same position.

“More students are choosing NIU as a school of choice,” La Tourette said.

Lugene Moyer, NIU’s associate provost, said the college is not getting from the state and other sources the money it needs to educate all students who want to attend the school.

“We would love to accommodate all the students who want to come here, but we don’t have the space,” Moyer said.

She said this fall NIU has 18,015 students, one more than last year. But the campus is in a budget crunch and is trying to decrease enrollment.

Bob Burk, associate director of admissions, said high school students who graduate in January and want to attend NIU in the spring semester will have to have an ACT score of 26 and must have a class ranking in the upper 10 percent of their class.