New admissions standards set to kick in at WKU in fall 2019

Earlier this week, Western Kentucky University Provost Dr. David Lee sent out an e-mail to faculty and staff announcing that the university has made the decision to begin applying new admissions standards beginning in the Fall of 2019.

"We’re mainly concerned about what serves our students best," Lee said to WNKY. "We believe this decision does that."

The new decision is one aimed directly at recent high school graduates who plan to apply to WKU in the future.

"We think these changes are going to position more of our students to be more successful in the years ahead," said Lee.

The new standards will now require incoming freshmen applicants to boast a minimum cumulative high school GPA (grade point average) of 2.0 and a Composite Admissions Index (CAI) score of at least 60, especially because the university feels those two categories are the best areas to predict future success for applicants. 

"A really careful review of what we think works in terms of student success was really at the heart of the change we’ve made in the admissions standards," Lee said.

In addition to those entrance standards, admitted students who come to the Hill with a cumulative high school GPA between 2.00 and 2.49 will have to take a new, five-week Summer Scholars program in July. Lee said the program will be designed to help these students better acclimate to college life.

"We think there are a number of students that if they can come here and work in a more focused environment at a quieter time on campus, they’re more likely to plug into WKU and be successful over time," he said.

Lee also stated that while he does expect enrollment numbers to take a hit in the short term, he’s anticipating a significant improvement in that area, as well as others, in the future. Improvements that Lee expects to be greatly beneficial to both the university and its students.

"I think the long term impact is going to be that our enrollments are going to grow and we’re going to have more students graduating in four years and in six years than perhaps we’ve had in the past," said the Provost.

According to Dr. Lee, admissions standards were last changed about four years ago, and he added that the university is continuing to explore options that will help their students succeed in the classroom and beyond.

"We’re going to be continuing to look for newer ways, better ways," Lee said. "I think this is going to have a very significant impact and do a lot of good for a lot of students."