Tougher Admissions Requirements May Actually Boost Racial Diversity at the University of Oregon

Blacks are only 2 percent of the student body at the flagship campus of the University of Oregon at Eugene. Now a plan to raise admissions standards may make it more difficult for black students to gain entrance to the university. Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, students will need a 3.4 grade point average in high school to win automatic admission to the Eugene campus. At the present time, a 3.25 GPA suffices.

But university officials believe that the new admission standard will actually increase racial diversity. At the present time, 70 percent of the entering class is made up of students who qualify automatically. Under the new tougher standards, automatic admissions may drop to about 50 percent. This would enable admissions officials to fill more spaces with students who do not meet the automatic admission threshold but who have other outstanding attributes that will add to the university community. Admissions officers state that under the new program they will be better able to take into account factors such as race, socioeconomic background, geographic diversity, leadership ability, and academic potential.