Getting Into College Is Tougher Than Ever

Getting into college may be tougher than ever for your graduating senior. 

More Texas students are applying to go to college, making it tougher to get into colleges with limited enrollments. One thing some seniors have going for them is that if they are in the top 10 percent of their class, they have guaranteed acceptance to state universities under Texas law.  But if you're not in that top ten, then you might only make the wait list. Local universities say while their admissions are not as limited, they are definitely selective. In fact West Texas A&M says they've just changed their admittance policies. 

"We have basically a couple of pathways for students to enter in to W.T. One is our summer enrichment program. So students that have a potential for success, we offer them an opportunity to come in the summer. They take 6 hours and in essence come in and prove they are worthy of admission to wt for fall admission." said Shawn Thomas, Admissions Director.
If students pass summer courses there is a provisional acceptance for fall. Thomas says the other option is the other change is students are allowed directly in during the fall but under probation.    
Rachel Huey is graduating from Randall High School and has already been accepted to the University of Texas at Austin. 

"If you're in the top ten percent, you can go to any Texas state school non private."   

But not all college bound graduating seniors are in the top ten percent.  Academic Counselor Cheryl Hukill says a review committee will look at other criteria. 

"It is very competitive, not just your GPA and class rank...they look at if you've challenged themselves to be there."
There is also the issue of costs, and Thomas recommends applying for scholarships and financial aid. 

"If they've not applied, they haven't started that paperwork, it's not too late to begin that process. But, to get the full benefit and really be in competition with those scholarship dollars and financial aide, it is important that they take care of that soon."

Even though the clock is ticking, Huey says, most importantly take the time out to figure out where you want to go. 

"If at all possible go on campus tours and you kind of know which college is right for you when you get just know."
Students who have already received acceptance letters have until May 1, 2008 to make a decision on where they will go.