Idaho's Direct Admissions Initiative

Blake Youde, Chief Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer, Idaho State Board of Education
Nov 4, 2015 11:25:17 AM
The Idaho State Board of Education is implementing a new admissions initiative to provide more Idaho students with the opportunity to obtain a postsecondary certificate or degree. The initiative, called Direct Admissions, will proactively admit Idaho public high school seniors to the state's public higher education institutions based on each student?s grade point average (GPA) and college entrance exam score.

A Board-approved benchmark GPA and college entrance exam score will determine a student's admission eligibility. Students at or above the benchmark will be admitted to Idaho's eight public universities and colleges: Boise State University, Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, Lewis-Clark State College, Eastern Idaho Technical College, College of Southern Idaho, College of Western Idaho and North Idaho College.

Students not meeting the benchmark will be admitted to the six public higher education institutions that offer certificate or associate degree programs: Idaho State University College of Technology, Lewis-Clark State College, Eastern Idaho Technical College, College of Southern Idaho, College of Western Idaho and North Idaho College.

Each Fall, high school seniors and their parents or guardians will be notified of their admittance and encouraged to research the academic and professional-technical programs offered throughout the state's community colleges and four-year institutions.  They will also be provided with financial aid information and facts regarding the benefits of higher education. Students will be required to complete an admission application to the institution of their choice as a next step in the admissions process. However, now the admission application will serve as a student's indication that he or she has chosen an institution to attend in the Fall.

Direct Admissions takes advantage of two features of Idaho's public education system.  First, the State Board of Education supervises and governs public education in Idaho from elementary to higher education. As a result, the administrative structure is in place to identify where high school students can be admitted and send them an admissions packet.

Second, Idaho State University  and Lewis-Clark State College offer two-year technical and academic associate degree programs, as well as four-year bachelor degree programs. These institutions can consider the interests and academic achievement of incoming students and advise them on the most appropriate route to meet their higher education goals. 

In 2010, the Board set a goal that 60 percent of Idaho citizens between the age of 25 and 34 will have a postsecondary degree or certificate by the year 2020. The Direct Admissions initiative has been developed to support this goal, as well as in support of the Board's vision of an accessible, seamless public education system that results in a highly educated citizenry.