Regents listen to a presentation during a state Board of Regents meeting in the IMU main lounge on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. (File Photo/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa regents’ admission formula to undergo change


CEDAR FALLS — The formulas used to automatically admit students to the three regent universities — Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa— will change for students admitted for the summer of 2020.

The Regent Admission Index has two formulas as part of the admission requirements; one for students whose high school provides a class rank and one for students whose high school does not. The regents approved switching to one formula in the future.

The change comes as an increasing number of high schools do not use class rank. Regents documents reported that 46 percent of first-time students at the regent universities have no class rank.

“Because that is a factor in one of our formulas, it’s starting to create some strange, not inequities, but strange complications at times in the admissions process, and it’s more confusing,” Chief Academic Officer Rachel Boon said during the June 7 meeting. “Not all students and families are clear which formula may or may not apply to them.”

The regents’ index combines this factor plus ACT or SAT scores, cumulative grade-point-average, and the number of completed high-school core courses. To be automatically admitted to the regent universities, a resident student must receive an index score of 245. At the UI, a nonresident student must receive a RAI score of 255. Boon said the 245 score is still fairly predictive of student success.

“We looked at it very carefully for both below and above that, and we do it using the students that actually come to us,” she said. “There other factors about other factors in students that are helpful in predicting that.”

According to regent documents, 93.2 percent of students would not be affected by the change in automatic admissions outcome. Of students who were previously admitted under the primary formula, 3.1 percent of students would not have qualified for automatic admission, and 3.7 percent of students who had not qualified for automatic admission would be admitted.

The regents’ system was created in 2006 and was first implemented for the entering class of 2009. It has been reviewed biannually to ensure both formulas are appropriate and affirm if 245 is still the appropriate minimum score for automatic admission.

— Emily Wangen

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