New admissions standards: good for FAU, bad for Florida

Congratulations are in order for FAU. In November the Board of Trustees decided to raise admissions standards, taking the necessary steps to being looked at as an academically serious university.

FAU, starting in summer 2004, will deny entry to students with low SAT scores. They’ll have to take three remedial courses at a community college before being accepted at FAU. The admissions initiative also stated a goal for a 3.2 GPA and a 500 score on the SAT’s for admittance in 2007.

This is all good news for a school on the rise athletically and now also scholarly. Hopefully this move will bring respect to FAU, otherwise known as Find Another University. The other goal is to make sure FAU isn’t admitting freshmen who aren’t “intellectually or emotionally ready for a four-year university” as the Palm Beach Post puts it.

The Post has a point. Students who score poorly on the SAT’s “drop out at about 1.5 times the university-wide rate, and those who started last fall finished their first year in college with an average 1.8 GPA,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Sadly, there are more dimensions to this Rubrik’s cube. In November, the Post reported that community colleges in Florida turned away 22,814 students. PBCC turned away 1,700 students, BCC turned away 3,000 and IRCC said no to 600. That’s more than 5,000 students in the general area that FAU services.

Interestingly enough, Student Body President Ancel Pratt III called the change in admissions policy “socially responsible,” according to the Boca News. Yet, this change is anything but “socially responsible.” Sure, it’s great for FAU but it’s going to raise hell for the community colleges. They closed their doors to 22,000 people in the fall; what are they going to do when more students come knocking? And then what about the students who can’t even get into community colleges, which are supposed to take anyone with a high school degree? I guess they get to join the growing unemployed/unemployable in Florida, shut out from higher education.

But why is that FAU’s fault, you ask? Well, it’s not FAU’s fault per se, but rather FAU’s president Frank Brogan’s fault. Before he joined the elite class of Florida university presidents (the $300,000 club) he was Florida’s Lt. Governor. As the present Lt. Governor, Toni Jennings, pointed out during Brogan’s inauguration last fall, “The Bush-Brogan team changed Florida education.” She left out the “for the worse.”

JEB! and Brogan took over five years ago and since then education budgets have been slashed. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “The amount the state spends on each community college student is less today then it was five years ago, and the community college portion of the state budget has grown by just 1.8 percent in the past three years while enrollment has jumped 27.5 percent.”

So you see, the new policy wouldn’t be so bad if Brogan hadn’t spent four years of his life ruining the very system to which he’s going to be sending students. He even has the audacity to tell the Boca News, “We think this is a very important statement to families: to students, to councilors, and to community colleges that this process is beginning.”

No Frank, the process to lock people out of higher education began when you and JEB! took office — this is just a continuation.