DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Wayne State University’s board has approved a tougher new admissions policy aimed at boosting the school’s graduation rate.
Under the plan, which was approved Wednesday, incoming freshmen would be evaluated differently. The policy would create three groups of applicants: those accepted, those who need to complete a summer refresher program first, and those who will be counseled to attend a community college or trade school or even to join the military.
The summer program would offer free classes in English, algebra and study skills. Summer tuition and housing would be free. Students would be required to have a minimum 2.0 grade-point average in a summer program before being accepted for the fall.
The changes could reduce the student population by about five percent. WSU’s current graduation rate is 31 percent, the lowest among the public universities in Michigan, University President Allan Gilmour said.
Critics say it could hurt the school’s urban mission and reduce the number of minorities, especially from Detroit Public Schools.
“These proposed changes … are a great concern for us. We know that having a quality, affordable college education is necessary for the next generation to be successful, contributing members of our society. Education is the great equalizer to overcoming poverty, disenfranchisement and breaking down barriers,” Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President of the Detroit Branch NAACP, said in a statement.
School officials say they plan to step up recruitment of area minority students to address concerns.
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