Raising the bar: New Mexico State Unversity to vote on minimum 2.75 GPA; UNM likes idea

Mike Bush:

At a time when the number of high school graduates and college enrollment rates are flat, New Mexico State University is poised to raise an important admission standard for incoming freshmen: the minimum grade point average.

The university’s Board of Regents will likely vote on a measure on July 23 that includes raising the GPA from 2.5 to 2.75, effective in the fall of 2016.

“I expect it to pass,” Provost Dan Howard said Friday, “but I don’t know that it will.”

A similar discussion is just getting started at the University of New Mexico, where the issue has caused heated controversy in the past.

Raising standards would almost certainly – at least at first – reduce the number of entering freshmen at the state’s two largest schools. And that would come at a time when the state

is projected to see only a small increase in its number of high school graduates over the next decade.

But officials say, in the long term, the move is expected to strengthen the NMSU brand, improve graduation rates and bolster the university’s image outside of New Mexico, all of which would make it easier to compete for out-of-state and foreign students.

The provost, however, said none of those benefits were behind the move to raise the admission standard.