New Admission Requirements Will Make It More Difficult for Blacks to Gain Admission to State Universities in Florida

All told, the 12 universities in the Florida State University System enroll more than 300,000 students. More than 41,000 are African Americans. Blacks make up about 14 percent of the total enrollments.

However, it should be noted that nearly 12,000 students are enrolled at historically black Florida A&M University and 94 percent of the undergraduate enrollments at Florida A&M are black. Therefore, blacks make up less than 10 percent of all enrollments at the 11 other universities in the system.

State universities in Florida are prohibited from considering race in admissions decisions. Therefore, there is no affirmative action or racial preferences, and black students must compete for spaces at these universities with whites and other races based solely on grade point averages and SAT scores.

Now the state university system plans to raise admission standards. At the present time, students need a 3.0 grade point average in high school in order to qualify for admission. But students who score high on the SAT college entrance examination can gain admittance with a grade point average as low as 2.0.

The new proposal will exclude all students who do not achieve a 2.5 grade point average. In addition, minimum thresholds will be established for a student’s scores on all three sections of the SAT test: reading, mathematics, and writing. Blacks in Florida score about 15 percent lower on the SAT than white students in Florida.The new admission standards undoubtedly will make it more difficult for blacks to gain entrance to the state university system.