Idaho will admit all public high school seniors to a community college or state university, reports Inside Higher Ed. The goal is to encourage more homegrown graduates.
From kindergarten through college, all public education in the state is overseen by the State Board of Education. That makes it easy to share information about grades and test scores, identifying which students qualify for competitive universities.
Students with a 3.0 — or lower grades and high test scores — will receive a letter of acceptance to all eight competitive public universities: the University of Idaho, Boise State and the Idaho State Universities. Those with lower grades will be admitted to open-admissions colleges that offer certificate or two-year degree programs.
Idaho’s college-going rate is the lowest in the nation: Last year, only half of high school graduates enrolled in a two- or four-year institution. Many who choose college leave the state and often don’t return.
The University of Idaho has been losing enrollment since 2014. “We have empty beds in our residence halls,” said Chuck Staben, the president. We can handle “a significant bump in enrollment.”