UW System considering automatic admissions for in-state high school graduates | Wisconsin Public Radio
The percentage of high school students enrolling at the state’s 13 universities has been falling since 2013, according to UW System data. Historically, 32 percent of high school grads have enrolled at UW schools immediately after graduation. That fell to about 27 percent in 2020.
During a Thursday meeting of the UW Board of Regents held at UW-Green Bay, members heard a presentation about how a policy known as “direct admissions” could temper the trend.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Professor of Higher Education Jennifer Delaney has researched the approach and told the board direct admissions works by offering automatic admission to high school seniors who meet certain grade point average or standardized test score thresholds.
She said direct admissions sidesteps the traditional application process, which places the impetus on students and parents to fill out multiple college applications in hopes of getting a response. With direct admissions, students, parents and high school counselors are proactively notified about an open spot.
“Right now, we’re having individuals do individual searches for college,” said Delaney. “Those with parents who’ve gone to college have a real advantage.”