Indiana Kicks Off Direct College Admissions Program
- Students at 327 Indiana High Schools can be pre-admitted to 38 participating colleges as part of a new direct admissions program starting this school year.
- Direct admissions will be based on students’ GPA and/or SAT scores, according to a release.
- Students will still need to apply via the Common App or a school’s website in order to be officially admitted.
- Officials hope the program will help curb Indiana’s declining college-going rate.
Students at hundreds of Indiana high schools can be pre-admitted to 38 participating colleges as part of a new direct admissions program starting this school year.
The new “Indiana Pre-Admissions: Your Path to College” program will offer students at 327 high schools pre-admission into participating colleges based on their GPA and/or SAT scores, according to a release from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
That means students will be able to weigh their options before they even fill out an application, although students will still need to apply via the Common App or institutions’ websites to be officially admitted. The Common App itself has experimented with direct admissions in recent years in a bid to boost equity, BestColleges previously reported.
“Indiana is home to some of the best higher education institutions in the nation,” Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Chris Lowery said in the release. “Indiana Pre-Admissions: Your Path to College encourages students to apply to institutions they might have thought were not within reach, thus giving students hope and options for their postsecondary education. The Commission will continue to lean into innovative programs and strong partnerships to address the challenges facing higher education in Indiana.”
A full list of participating colleges is available online. Students will receive pre-admissions letters after Labor Day.
Officials hope the pre-admission program will help address the state’s declining college-going rate. That rate is currently 53% and was on the decline before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s college-going rate was 65% in 2015.
Indiana educators have been encouraged by the effectiveness of similar programs in other states. Idaho, for example, saw an 8% increase in in-state, first-time graduate enrollment after starting its own direct admissions program, according to the release, and the number of students leaving the state for college also decreased.
Independent Colleges of Indiana President and CEO Dottie King said in the release that “by bridging the gap between aspiration and application, this statewide partnership empowers students to envision a brighter future and empowers Indiana’s higher education institutions to nurture those dreams into reality.”
A 2022 article from Research in Higher Education found that Idaho’s first-in-the-nation direct admissions system boosted enrollment, particularly at two-year “open access institutions.”
“Direct admissions holds the potential to provide important college-going signals to high school students and eliminate the need for extensive financial, social, and cultural capital to navigate the college application process,” that article reads, although the authors found minimal impact on the enrollment figures for first-time, full-time students who received Pell Grants.