Florida Raises Requirements for New Students

Admission requirements for incoming freshmen will be heightened for all schools in the State University System including Florida A&M.

Prospective students will be expected to have at least a 2.5 GPA and minimum scores on each subsection of both the SAT and ACT before being considered. Only students with at least 460 Reading, 460 Math and 460 Writing in the SAT or 19, 19, and 18 in ACT.

William E. Hudson, Jr., interim vice president of student affairs, explained the differences between the current and future admission standards.

“Previously, the admission requirements were on a sliding scale which meant a high test score could balance a low GPA and visa versa,” Hudson said. “Also, test scores were composite. We would look at the total score. With the requirement change, each section will be looked at individually.”

It is uncertain when the changes will take affect, but Diane McCain, state university system Board of Governors’ director of external relations, predicted sometime during the summer term.

“The admission requirement changes should start in June,” said McCain.

According to McCain, each institution must complete its own timeline.

“FAMU, like all the others, must present a plan for restructuring to the board [of governors], just like what Dr. Ammons presented this week to the board of trustees,” McCain said. “It will outline the specific dates the changes will occur.”

Any student who is accepted, but did not meet the minimum admission requirements will be treated as a profile admit, Hudson said.

“Profile admits have to take remedial courses and take tests for any section of the SAT or ACT they didn’t pass,” Hudson said.

Shemaiah Thames, 24, a graduate student from Miramar, Fla., said she likes the changes.

“Actually, I don’t have a problem with it,” Thames said. “It might motivate people who are trying to go to college to be better students.”

The physical therapy student added that a 2.5 GPA requirement should not be a hindrance.

“If you’re really serious about school, you’re going to have higher than a 2.5,” Thames said.

High school graduation requirements for the state have changed as well. Students must now take 4 math courses instead of 3 in order to receive a diploma.

Hudson said this could be problematic for out-of-state students.

“Those students residing outside of Florida may not have to take 4 mathematics courses as a high school student and may not be admitted into a Florida university because of it,” Hudson said.

Hudson said the changes might affect FAMU’s overall mission.

“We’re the college of opportunities. If these students can’t get into other universities, we’ve always been there to give them a chance,” Hudson said. “If you take that away, what are the students going to do?”

Thames disagreed.

“It’s not really going to affect the type of student we get at FAMU because college is an elimination process,” Thames said. “If they’re struggling in high school, I’m pretty sure they going to struggle in college.”

For more information about the admission requirements, visit the Board of Governors website at www.flbog.org