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GPA vs ACT at the University of Akron
U Akron researchers say student Grade Point Average is a better predictor of freshmen success than their ACT scores. 

Mark Urycki
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In The Region:
Officials at the University of Akron will host Ohio’s new Chancellor of the Board of Regents, John Carey, tomorrow (Thurs). They want to explain their new plan to admit students based predominantly on their high school Grade Point Average. The school provost says it’s the best predictor of success.  
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University officials usually defend college placement test like the ACT or SAT by saying they are good predictors of students’ success. The University of Akron uses ACT scores and high school GPA.  But Akron researchers have compared data over the last three years and now say GPA scores are an 80% better predictor of student success than the ACT.  At least for their freshman year. Provost Mike Sherman says students with both low GPA’s and low ACT scores will have less than a 10% chance of graduating..

“We shouldn’t have those students start here.  And in fact our collaboration with our community college partners is where we’ll facilitate the success of the students that we choose not to accept on the basis of this framework.”

But Sherman says Akron will accept credits these students earn from a number of community colleges.

“We’re not excluding them;  we’re including them on a pathway to the University of Akron.   For some students we won’t be their first step.  We’ll be their second step.”

Ohio legislators are cutting funding for remedial classes and the 4 year state schools are phasing them out.  Sherman says Akron plans further studies on such items as specific reading or math scores and what role they have in predicting success at college.

The University of Akron is hoping to offer a sale on summer courses for students looking to start this fall.  The board of trustees today (Wed) approved an early enrollment plan for incoming freshmen called Zip-Start.  It offers a flat rate of $750 dollars for a three-hour summer course or one-thousand dollars for two  three-hour courses.  The general service fees are eliminated.  The plan would go into effect this summer if the Chancellor approves. 

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