Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ohio State attracting better students over last 10 years

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - The state's biggest university is making progress in its effort to attract better students, according to scores on admission tests this year.

Ohio State freshmen who started fall quarter classes Wednesday were expected to have an average ACT score of 25.5 to 25.6, university officials said.

In 1993, Ohio State freshmen were close to the bottom of Big Ten universities in average ACT scores - 23 out of a possible 36.

Last year's OSU freshmen ranked near the middle among Big Ten schools, with an average score of 25.4.

In 1987, Ohio State stopped its practice of admitting any Ohio resident with a high-school diploma.

Over the last 10 years, each incoming freshman class has been better academically than the preceding one.

"Anyone could come here before," said Martha Garland, dean of undergraduate studies. "Lots of people came, started and left. So many were coming and failing." In 1991, recruiting of National Merit Scholars improved with 102 freshmen, compared with 23 the year before. The number is expected to climb to 118 this year.

More students are also in the top 10 percent of their high-school graduating classes, growing from 25 percent of the 1987 freshmen to 33 percent last year.

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