Towson University Says No To Slackers

Let me be among the first to applaud Towson University on being a responsible steward of public funds and the tuition of their students.

Citing high attrition rates, Towson University says it will discontinue an unusual admissions program that was designed to attract male students by admitting applicants with lower grades but higher SAT scores.

Launched in the fall of 2005, the experiment was designed in part to address concerns about declining enrollment of males, who make up 42 percent of the U.S. college population and 40 percent at Towson.

Women were admitted through the program, too, but it was aimed primarily at drawing male students – who are more likely to have higher SAT scores but lower grades. The problem, officials said, was that too many students in the program left the college or had to drop out.

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SAT/ACT scores and high school grades are a very good predictor of success in college. That’s why colleges use them. When you go against well established predictors you have to expect adverse outcomes. This comes to the second part. We’ve also known for decades, if not forever, that grouping students by ability works. That’s why you find the student body and a university being fairly homogeneous in scores and grades. When you admit student with lower scores and grades than your student body at large, then large numbers of those admissions drop out because they aren’t academically prepared for the curriculum.

So, you say, if we know all this why did we even begin the program? Good question. Because universities have bought into affirmative action, which works the same way, with all their being they tried to carry out this bit of social engineering on their own. Of course, it was silliness. But in this case the only beneficiaries of the program where underachieving, presumably white, slackers and they pulled the plug. It is for that that we applaud them. Not for the reasoning that got them there.

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