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The Presidents' Commission of the National Collegiate Athletics Association said last month that it will recommend tougher standards for student-athletes.

Under the proposal, beginning in the fall of 1995, incoming student-athletes would have to achieve a grade-point average of 2.5 (on a scale of 4.0) in high school in 13 core courses in order to be eligible to play. The current requirement is a gpa of 2.0 in 11 core courses.

The commission did not recommend any changes in the Scholastic Aptitude Test score standard of 700 (out of 1,600) or in the American College Test score standard of 18 (out of 36).

But it did recommend a sliding scale for eligibility for students who do better on the standardized tests and have poorer gpa's. For example, it recommended eligibility for students who have a gpa of 2.25 and an 800 on the sat or a 2.0 gpa and a 900 on the sat

It also recommended stricter eligibility requirements for athletes already in college at the time the new rules would go into effect and for students transferring from junior colleges.

Ncaa members are scheduled to vote on the proposed changes in January.

Also last month, the association released a study showing that a much lower percentage of black than white student-athletes graduated from the schools in which they were enrolled.

In surveying 3,288 student-athletes who entered as freshmen at 85 Division I schools in 1984 and 1985, the ncaa found that 52.3 percent of white, but only 26.6 percent of black, athletes had graduated. Asians, Latinos, and American Indians were not studied. Over all, 45.7 percent of the student-athletes studied had graduated.

The study also found that 30.8 percent of white student-athletes graduated within four years, while only 9.2 percent of black student-athletes graduated after four years. About 21.4 percent of whites graduated in their fifth year, while 17.4 percent of blacks graduated after five years.

The survey sample consisted of 2,453 whites (74.6 percent) and 835 blacks (25.4 percent). The sample included 2,314 males (70.4 percent) and 974 females (29.6 percent).

The presidents of 17 of Virginia's public and private colleges and universities have suggested that the state allow some of its public institutions of higher learning to become semi-private.

In a report issued last month on the future of higher education in the state, the presidents said that such an approach would give the semi-private schools an opportunity to increase tuition to match that of the most prestigious schools in the nation and, thus, protect them from the risk of having their programs hurt by low state appropriations. The remaining state-supported schools would benefit by having less competition for state dollars, the report said.

Under the proposal, the semi-private schools, which could come from public or independent ranks, also would be under fewer state controls. They would be "subject to programmatic, but not administrative, regulation by the state," the report said.

The presidents suggested that the Virginia legislature consider these alternatives if, by 1996, state appropriations per student have not matched the national average.

The report cited as models Cornell University, where some schools receive state support and others do not, and Pennsylvania, where some major independent universities are semi-private.

The US West Foundation will contribute $2 million to American Indian tribal colleges over the next two years, the largest corporate gift ever made to tribal colleges, Richard D. McCormick, president and chief executive officer of US West, announced this month.

The contribution is designed to help the American Indian College Fund, which represents 27 tribal colleges in 12 Western and Midwestern states, attract additional corporate support. Most of the tribal colleges have not been in operation long enough to establish substantial endowments.

That effort will be aided by a multimillion-dollar public-relations campaign donated by the advertising firm of Wieden and Kennedy.

"We feel it is time to give something back to the Indian," Mr. McCormick said. "The tribal colleges are the answer to maintaining Native American cultures while teaching them to succeed on or off the reservation."

The 27 colleges serve 12,000 full- and part-time students and have enrollments of between 800 and 1,800 students each.

The grant from US West, a telecommunications corporation that operates one of the largest foundations in the West, includes $732,000 for 19 colleges to improve computers, libraries, and curricula, and to help students transfer from the primarily two-year schools to four-year institutions.

The American Indian College Fund will receive $70,000.

Mid-year budget cuts trimmed the higher-education budgets of 29 states, and 45 states expect to increase tuition for the 1991-92 academic year, according to a survey conducted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Of the 45 planning to hike tuition, 11 plan double-digit increases, the survey said.

Average tuition is expected to rise 10.1 percent overall, and 12.9 percent in those states experiencing cuts, the survey said.--mp

Vol. 10, Issue 40

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