Indiana University Indianapolis to offer automatic admission to IPS students with 3.0 GPA

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This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Indiana.

Students attending Indianapolis Public Schools who have a grade point average of at least 3.0 will receive automatic admission to Indiana University Indianapolis.

The major initiative announced Wednesday aims to make higher education more accessible for IPS students. In addition, those qualified students won’t have to fill out an application, provide a high school transcript, or pay an application fee to attend the university. The effort applies to students in the four high schools IPS manages directly: Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, Shortridge, and George Washington.

“We know that this partnership with IU Indy bridges the gap between high school and higher education,” IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said during the announcement at Crispus Attucks High School. “[It] empowers our students to pursue advanced coursework and broaden their horizons.”

The announcement comes as the state embarks on a broad push to make high school students aware of their higher education opportunities.

A new law requires Indiana students to fill out the application for federal aid next year, with certain exceptions. And this month, some Indiana high school seniors began receiving pre-admission letters to certain higher education institutions through an Indiana Commission for Higher Education initiative; that initiative still requires students to apply, even if they are pre-admitted.

Indiana University Indianapolis is still known as Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, or IUPUI, but will officially rebrand as IU Indianapolis in the summer of 2024 following an agreement between IU and Purdue to split and operate two separate campuses.

IPS students who meet the GPA requirement will receive an email and postcard indicating they qualify for admission to IU Indianapolis this fall, and can opt in to attend the school. They will receive automatic admission after filling out an online form. The first cohort of admitted students will attend the university in the fall of 2024.

The initiative is funded by the New Skills Ready Network initiative by JPMorgan Chase & Co., which selected Indianapolis as one of several cities to receive $7 million to help students complete high-quality career pathways.

IUPUI is one of the three most popular colleges that IPS students apply to, Johnson said.

In 2023, 64% of graduating seniors at IPS reported plans to enroll in a two- or four-year college, Johnson said. This year, that figure is 72% for the class of 2024.

Statewide, the college-going rate for high school seniors is roughly 53% for the class of 2021, the latest data available.

Crispus Attucks High School senior Amy Gaytan said she’s excited about the new initiative because it will help ease some of the stress of her senior year. She hopes to study nursing at IU Indianapolis, and has been working through dual-credit classes currently offered through her school and the college.

“I was a little bit worried (about) starting to find scholarships and to apply for colleges and all that stuff, and with all my classes that I take here and [at] IUPUI, I was just overwhelmed,” she said. “But when I heard about the opportunity here, I was just very excited.”

Chalkbeat Indiana is a not-for-profit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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17 thoughts on “Indiana University Indianapolis to offer automatic admission to IPS students with 3.0 GPA

  1. That a 3.0 from an IPS high school is considered sufficient to attend IU-Indianapolis is not a promising indicator of what the overall academic quality of this school will be.

    1. Many schools are experimenting with Direct Admission, emphasizing test scores less as it’s not a reliable indicator of actual college performance. From what I have seen, the true indicator is if an institution has resources available for these students to support their educational endeavors – the goal is NOT that they all drop out after a semester or a year. Retention must be a concern and I think IU Indianapolis is well-positioned to make a true difference + upward mobility in students’ lives.

    2. A 3.0 has long been considered good enough to attend a college who’s entire purpose is to educate the citizens of a state….

    3. Brad, your comment about the predictive power of admission test is literally the opposite of what research has shown. They are far more predictive than grades, which is why schools have stopped using them – it allows them to admit students they never should have but meet internal diversity quotas. The reality is that every year there are millions of new college students that are not actually university material who will take on significant debt for a negative ROI on the time and money invested. Schools know this but take their money anyway as all the financial risk is on the student loan borrower.

    4. Brad W.

      The SAT and other college entrance exam is are actually very good indicators
      are very good and valid indicators of future success.
      Test scores typically correspond to a students preparedness for college.

      The tests should remain in place for all students regardless of race, income,
      or school district.

      At the very least these IPS students should be able to write an essay.

    5. Dropping prerequisites such as entrance exams, SAT’s, and the Essay
      will result in –
      1) students being over matched for schools and work that they are not prepared for.
      2) Much higher drop out rates rates saddling students with incredible student

      Test scores are a very good indicator of preparedness and future success

    1. Keith – application fees did not exist from 2006-2014… Higher Ed realized they could be nickel and diming people and added them back again

  2. Brad W is exactly right. It’s one thing to admit the 3.0 GPA students automatically, but it’s another thing to be able to support them throughout their education. Many of the students are likely to be first generation or students of color, who often need some help to succeed at such a large institution. I hope that IUI will provide the support to help students succeed. I think this is a great start to making education available to all, but let’s make sure the back end is there to help them on their journey.

    1. No – High School is meant to prepare students to be cogs in the capitalism machine.

      Good colleges are meant to prepare students to be slightly more skilled cogs

      Great colleges teach them to think critically about whether or not they want to be cogs 🙂

  3. I spent a few years at IUPUI in the 70’s. and graduated from there. Lots of my classmates were from public schools (I’m a graduate of a private, Catholic, high school). Some of those students were from the top 10% of their high school classes, but couldn’t for one reason or another attend college away from home. Many were in the 2.3 to 3.2 range, and they were smart. They just needed a chance, which they received at IUPUI. There were support programs, formal and informal. The University Division was created to help these students acclimate and succeed, and to give them someplace to do it before jumping into a major. And it worked. These are the graduates who will likely remain in Indiana, and contribute to the state’s growth.

    My son, an honors grad from a public high school went to IUPUI for the Informatics School. Lots of really bright students there…not all of whom were also accepted at Purdue. In fact, most weren’t. But all of my son’s friends are now successfully employed, in their fields, which is a bit of a feat as they graduated into the pandemic in 2020 and their first jobs were pulled as companies stopped hiring.

  4. For the past 10 years i have asked every single teacher with whom i have come in contact this question: ” Is there any hope out there.” I am certainly approaching over 100 teachers. With the exception of 1 teacher, 100% of them have very quickly answered No. When i questioned the one that had responded yes, it was not long into the questioning that the answer was actually no. The Federal Department of Education says fore lesser “quality” schools HSGPA is a better predictor of success, which i presume means graduation. That makes sense. Children who are not problems in highschool class get better grades as a reward. And the less rigorous, less stringent in grading collegiate schools simply engage in the same behavior. Thus, they produce a lesser quality product that isn’t really ready to compete or add value to an employer. I predict this program will be gone in 5 years as the inexorable results undeniably repeat themselves annually or the reputation of the graduate in the market place is so poor that having attended and graduated becomes meaningless….or actually meaningful….don’t hire them.