Hill criticizes U-W's plan for higher admissions standards

Nov 18, 2011

Wyoming Superintendent Cindy Hill asked the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees to reconsider raising its admission standards so as not to exclude Wyoming high school students who struggle with their test scores.

Under the new guidelines, in order to be assured admission admitted, students would need three-point-oh G-P-As and an A-C-T score of 21. They would also have to take additional foreign language classes in high school. Students who don’t meet certain standards would be admitted, on condition of participating in a ‘Synergy Program’ to bring them up to speed.

Hill says the standards are “exclusionary,” and don’t reflect a student’s potential to achieve, She says they will will discourage some students from trying to succeed at UW, and that Wyoming tax payers she’s spoken with don’t support the plan.

“It seems that in the quest to be a highly-respected institution, and it’s a laudable goal, the casualty may be the university’s own customer base.”

Hill also said she would welcome a discussion of eliminating admissions standards altogether.

Board Chairman Jim Neiman says UW needs to expect more of its students in order to prepare them for life in a global economy.

“I try to look out 5 years, 10 years ... and 50 years. And I go beyond the border of this state, beyond the borders of this country and look at where our real competition is. We’re getting out-competed by a lot of countries. We need to take that challenge serious to say how do we … put out better students?”

In contrast, Hill says the burden is on the educators to help students succeed.