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Redefining University of Wyoming Categories of Admission

September 29, 2011

Impetus for the proposal. The percentage of jobs requiring postsecondary education continues to rise and is expected to reach 63% by 2018. Only 36% of Wyoming residents hold an associates degree or higher, and Wyoming's population is projected to continue to lag the nation in proportion of adults with postsecondary education. We must change this trend.

Wyoming faces two challenges in preparing its young people for an increasingly knowledge-based economy. First, more K-12 students need to prepare for and enter college. Second, students who enter Wyoming's colleges and university need to persist and graduate.

The University of Wyoming is committed to improving college readiness and completion in our state. Our current initiative is focused on UW's admission standards. Our purpose is to:

  • Set admission standards that ensure student readiness, and that effectively communicate to Wyoming families the courses that their students should take to succeed in college; and
  • Provide "admission with support" for those students whose high school transcripts, GPA and ACT scores suggest that they may require additional support to succeed in college.

Current UW admission standards. At present UW has two categories of admission:

  • Assured admission. Minimum 4 years of English, 3 years of Math, Science, and Social Studies, and a high school GPA of 3.0 (or 2.75 with ACT of 20) for non-residents or 2.75 for Wyoming residents.
  • Conditional admission. Minimum high school GPA of 2.25 and ACT score of 20; high school curriculum can vary.

 Proposed UW admission standards (starting fall 2013):

  • Assured admission. Minimum 4 years of English, Math and Science, 3 years of Social Studies, 2 years of the same foreign language, high school GPA of 3.0, and ACT score of 21.
  • Admission with support. Minimum high school GPA of 2.25 and ACT score of 20; high school curriculum can vary. Students admitted with support will participate in our Synergy program or other academic transition programs.

All students who would be admitted under the current standards will continue to be admitted under the proposed standards
. The change is that UW will identify those students who will benefit from additional support and provide it to them. This should improve our retention and graduation rates. We also anticipate that our new admission standards will guide Wyoming K-12 students to prepare themselves better in high school so that they succeed in college, whether at UW, a community college, or elsewhere.

Background and data that led to the definition of proposed admission standards is available at: under "College readiness and completion."

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