Prior to 3/5/2008 the newsclips are available in a PDF archive.
News Clips 10/21/2013
EDITORIAL: Consider guaranteed admissions at FAU, FIU
Source: Sun Sentinel, 10/18/13
View Original Article
In their young lives, it's often the toughest question teenagers face: Where should I attend college? The answer isn't easy, given the competition for getting into a choice school.
The so-called "dream schools,' like the Ivy League's Brown, Columbia and Harvard universities, admitted fewer than 10 percent of this year's applicants. Schools such as Duke and Vanderbilt proved only a mite more welcoming.
By comparison, the University of Florida's 42-percent admission rate seems generous. Two years ago, 11,786 of the 27,295 students who applied to UF were admitted. Still, close to 60 percent of wannabe Gators lost the admissions crapshoot.
Add the pressure of college entrance-board exams and it's enough to discourage any teenager who aspires to become a collegian.
That's why South Florida's two state universities — Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University — should consider the new guaranteed admission plan being offered by their sister school in Orlando, the University of Central Florida.
The university's Top 10 Knights program is a new initiative launched to recognize high schoolacademic achievement and provide Florida students and families with more certainty regarding the admissions process.
The program seeks applicants who, for four years, knocked their classroom work out of the park but, for whatever reason, fell short on achieving stellar scores on their SAT and ACT college admission tests.
Successful applicants must still meet minimum SAT and ACT exam scores, but if they rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class, they're guaranteed a slot at UCF.
The state already has the Talented Twenty program, which assures students in the top 20 percent of their class admission to one of Florida's 11 state universities. The state program is a help, but it can't guarantee admission to the student's university of choice.
The beauty of the Top 10 Knights program is that it caters to students whose hearts are set on becoming UCF Knights. A similar initiative at FAU and FIU could boost the number of students who seek the benefits of a good college education while staying close to home.
The initiative could be a boon for minority and low-income students who submit impeccable high school transcripts, but less-impressive test scores. Economics often play a role, too, as families often lack the wherewithal to pay for pricey prep courses that help boost scores.
Both FAU and FIU boast impressive minority enrollments. About 46 percent of the students enrolled at FAU are non-white, making it one of the most diverse schools in the state university system. FIU leads the state's 12 universities in the number of Hispanic students.
Keeping the diversity of the student body reflective of our region remains a goal. And a local guaranteed enrollment program could help ease Florida's brain drain by encouraging talented collegians to remain in South Florida.