Why Colleges Are Limiting Admissions

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Faced with the prospect of a 25-percent drop in the number of college-bound seniors by 1990, why are states and public colleges and universities making it more difficult for applicants to get in?

College officials cite several reasons:

Financial difficulties that have forced state legislatures to impose spending limits and enrollment limitations;

A desire to improve institutional quality;

The growth of expensive remedial programs, and

A desire to encourage secondary schools to improve their academic programs and thus the preparation of graduates who go on to college.

In an article in Education Week (Dec. 21, 1981), Harry M. Snyder of the Kentucky Council of Higher Education put it this way: "The reasons institutions are imposing higher standards and will not be as wide open in their 'open door' admissions policies are partly financial, partly a matter of stating identity. We want our state university--the University of Kentucky at Lexington--to be the flagship of the fleet, performing unique functions it can't do if it's trying to be all things to all people.

"We have to impose higher standards or be forced to deal with kids who shouldn't be in college in the first place," Mr. Snyder said. "We have some kids who can't do college-level work. We wonder how they ever did high-school level work."

Vol. 02, Issue 12

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