The Louisiana Board of Regents received the results from a statewide audit of admissions standards today that showed LSU has accepted almost twice as many students by exception than allowable under state minimum admission criteria.
Auditors also discovered several campuses with significant data errors in how they reported their admissions information, according to a news release from the board.
The admissions audit was initiated by the board last August to look at four-year universities statewide and measure the compliance of each with the state’s admissions standards. Student data for the fall of 2018 was analyzed in the audit. That semester was the first where LSU implemented a more holistic admissions process, factoring in a student’s background and letters of recommendation as well as GPA and ACT score.
The board’s minimum admission standards include completion of a college prep core curriculum plus a certain GPA OR a certain ACT score. The GPA or ACT scores are graduated for each campus, with LSU having the highest minimum standard.
Within the approved standards was a small allowance for the admission of students by exception at each public four-year institution, a process the board says has been in place for 18 years.
According to the audit, LSU admitted 438 students out of its 5,816 freshman class by exception which equates to a rate of 7.5%. However, under the board’s admission criteria, the flagship university is only allowed to admit 4% of its students by exception.
Asked for comment, LSU officials released the following statement: “LSU’s entering class of Fall 2018 was admitted using comprehensive admissions, and is the largest and most diverse freshman class in LSU’s history. After its first year, the class has matched or exceeded previous freshman classes in GPA, persistence from fall to spring semesters, number of credits earned, and maintaining their TOPS awards—including the students that the Board of Regents mentioned in its report. Like the Board of Regents, LSU’s goal is student success. We all want students to have access to higher education and to successfully complete their degrees once they are enrolled.”
(Note: This story has been updated since its original publication to include a statement from LSU.)