New Admissions Standards for the University of North Carolina System Will Have Their Greatest Impact at Historically Black Universities

The board of governors of the University of North Carolina is considering implementing new admissions standards that could impact black enrollments in the system. The new standards would require that students score at least 700 on the SAT test and maintain a 2.0 grade point average in high school. The standards would rise to a 750 score on the SAT and a 2.3 grade point average in 2011. By 2013, students would need to score 800 on the SAT and have a 2.5 grade point average.

These new standards would not affect admissions to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and several other campuses in the system that already have high standards for admission. But the new requirements could have a major impact at five historically black universities in the state system. Many black students currently enrolled at these schools would not have been admitted. For example, an analysis of students admitted to North Carolina A&T State University in 2006 found that 12 percent did not meet the 800 SAT score or 2.5 grade point average standard.

The average SAT score for black students in North Carolina is 851. Thus, under the new SAT requirement, perhaps 40 percent of all black students in the state would be ineligible for admission to a four-year university in the state system under the new standards.