“Special admits” and college admissions

The Indianapolis Star newspaper recently posted an article regarding “special admits” to colleges.  So called “special admits” refers to the preferences given to athletic recruits that would not normally meet admissions standards.  While there is nothing surprising about the fact that colleges use different standards for some athletes, the interesting point is the degree of preference given.

The newspaper studied 55 of the countries largest public universities and found that the preferences given to special admits at many schools was disproportionately favoring athletes, particularly football players. For example, in 2004 the University of California reported that 95% of freshman football players on scholarship were special recruits while 47% of all freshman athletes on scholarships were special admits.  In contrast, only 2% of all freshman students were special admits. At the University of Georgia and Texas A&M University, 94% of freshman football players were special admits.

The process of using special admits is something that students who may apply to those colleges need to know about, particularly if their grades and test scores are lower than the average for those schools.  While these colleges may except students with lower grades and test scores, many of those admissions slots are going to recruited athletes, leaving little room for non athletes.

Not all colleges use special admits and the study found that many universities did not use any special admits. For a breakdown of which of the nation’s largest public universities use special admits look at the table put together by the newspaper.

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