Academic admits going away?

On the How to be Admitted page, I’m seeing the “*Beginning with applicants for Fall 2021, academic admission will no longer be available.” message. This would be a big change.

Anyone know what the plan is for TAMU admission outside of the 10% auto admits in the future?

Everyone will fall under holistic review. I’m sure top nods will be given to the better ranked with 30+ ACT and high SAT but it does level the playing field to those that may be a just more well rounded or brings something different to the table. By opening up more spots to those outside the top 10% TAMU has more power in who they offer admissions to vs. being held to the test/rank rule.

I am very disappointed that TAMU is discarding the Academic Admit category.

I personally think that students who are in the 10.1 to 25% of their graduating HS class AND have the required SAT/ACT scores are academically ready to thrive at TAMU. Having everyone from 10.0 % and down go into Holistic review will make the process take a lot longer and will be stressful for so many more students and their parents.

This is coming from a parent of 2 Aggies, NEITHER of which was an Academic admit.

My oldest daughter was HS Class of 2012, in the 27% of her class with the required ACT score for her application year. She received a full admit offer in mid Feb of 2013. She had some AP and DC credit, graduated on time, Cum Laude (3.5 gpa) from TAMU in Spring of 2016. She is now working in her profession.

My youngest daughter was HS Class of 2017, in the 53% of her class, 3.5 unweighted gpa, (above 4 for weighted gpa, just can’t remember actual number), with SAT 1250 (E670/M580) /ACT 27 scores, which were below the Academic Admit threshold, but at the average for TAMU enrolled students. Her gpa and SAT scores were not a lot lower than her older sister’s, but the HS just gets more competitive every year. She was offered Blinn-TEAM on Feb. 14, 2017. She just successfully completed 2 years on Blinn-TEAM and is now an Aggie Junior. WHOOP! Some of her journey is on the Blinn-TEAM parent perspective thread.

This past admissions cycle was brutal and the offers seemed to take forever to be issued. I think that the volume of applications will be so high that it will take even longer for ALL of those applications to go through Holistic Review. I realize that something has to be done with the admissions process, but I don’t think that throwing the Academic Admit category away is the best way to deal with the volume of applications from so many high achieving students.

The waiting until mid Feb. to receive their decisions was very difficult for both of my girls. I know that the students who achieved Academic Admissions had a much less stressful HS Senior year. And they earned that admission and the opportunity to enjoy their HS Senior year. Hate to see that category scrapped.

This past TAMU admissions cycle was brutal. So many students who would have been full or Blinn-TEAM in past years were offered PSA. There were over 50,000 applications for Fall 2019!! That is mind boggling! I am sure that a portion of those were Academic Admits, high achieving students who ranked in the Top 25% AND had SAT/ACT scores above the TAMU average and who are well rounded, just the type of student expected to thrive at TAMU. Those students worked hard for their class rank AND scores, and they were able to enjoy their Senior year of HS. To now put ALL of those highly qualified students into the Holistic Review will just make the whole process take a lot longer and will make it much more stressful.

Now there will be so much more “playing the gpa/class rank game” to secure a coveted Top 10% slot as that is now the only sure thing. As far as I can see, broadening the Holistic Review category is going to cause more stress on HS students and their parents, and possibly encourage the switching of schools/districts to chase the elusive Top 10%. I can’t imagine how hard it will be when my (future) grandchildren are applying to college.

Just my 2 cents. I hope I am wrong and that the change will magically streamline the process.

My thoughts @AggieMomhelp - just as a mom of a student that got PSA this past year with stats just a hair better than your younger daughter. (40% (3.3uw/3.79w)- 28 ACT (29M, 27E, 26S, 29R) and a 1270 SAT (600E 670M)).

The state has grown too much to only have the “big two” state schools. (I’m not talking about private schools at all - I am solely addressing public schools). While I agree that “I personally think that students who are in the 10.1 to 25% of their graduating HS class AND have the required SAT/ACT scores are academically ready to thrive at TAMU.” There are just too many of those folks now. And realistically - TAMU has grown their student body about 10,000 larger than UT. UT made the decision years ago to cap the size of their freshmen classes - and now TAMU is following suit.

I know the conventional wisdom on this board is that major does not matter in the TAMU admissions process. Does that really make sense to do things that way? A communication major needs a whole different skill set than a physics major. I think the removal of academic admissions is just one piece of the puzzle in terms of how TAMU is going to move forward the admissions process.

I’m not buying that they did not look at major this go around for the class of 2023. I’m not saying it was a factor in the admission decision process, but they most certainly had them grouped by major. The PSA waves were grouped by major.

I suspect moving forward you will see almost all people with current academic admit scores get admission - at least for the first two years (Class of 2025 and 2026). And you will see major play more of a role in the admissions process.

As the parents and guidance counselors need to understand that the population in Texas is not what it was when we were in college. We are blessed to live in a growth state where the major cities are attracting businesses with an educated workforce. And their kids are now flowing into are universities. I feel strongly that instead of sending kids off to Bama, K-State, LSU, Arkansas, Mizzou etc when they don’t get into UT or TAMU - we need to encourage the growth of our instate options. (Not knocking those school - I’m talking from the prospective of having well respected in state options moving forward - there is a reason that they are giving Texas students with good stats merit scholarships that equal in state tuition. They want some of the brightest students from Texas).

UH, UTSA, TTU, UNT, UTA and UTD are all research universities or have specific programs that are nationally ranked. Our kids need to look beyond TAMU and UT - as the competition to get into those schools increases.

And there are a ton of factors behind why the several of the UT system schools have shown growth and national ranking so it is hard to compare the two systems. But I do think the TAMU system has treated their system schools as regional colleges or a stepping stone to get to College Station instead of growing them at stand alone universities. And in some ways I think that is short sighted in a state with a growing population.

And as for more holistic reviews adding to the sluggish process - I’m hopeful that it won’t. UT gets more applications and they are quicker than TAMU by weeks. If each school or department has screening variables that are specific to their programs needs - ruling out groups of students could be easier. Harsh but necessary.

Don’t feel bad you’re not alone, the states with biggest populations all have this problem. In state applicants all want to stay in state for cost AND go the best school(s) the state has to offer. An impossibility, so it just gets super competitive to attend a top state school. California, Texas, and Florida all have this problem, Florida the least so since it has far less college age population.

I meant to tag @AggieMomAgain

I wonder if another possible reason for Tamu getting rid of academic admittance is because now admissions does not have to be in the business of “assigning rank” to those who are home-schooled or go to non-ranking schools. Would there still be a reason to assign rank anymore? It would be one less thing for applicants to question. Just thinking out loud…

I don’t think that would be the case @Eggscapgoats - UT assigns a rank and they are full holistic after top 6%.

Apparently most non-ranking schools provide a gpa distribution either broken down into quarters or 5ths. And there is some mysterious algorithm that universities create to come up with the ranking. It’s frequently found on the school community profile on in graduation material.

Quarter Rank GPA
1st 1-178 4.8382-4.0755
2nd 4.0741-3.5636
3rd 3.5577-2.9811
4th 2.9667-Below

So, in essence, when districts are moving away from ranking past 10% to make thing more “fair” because the school is “high performing” the colleges are basically going back and assigning the rank that they would have had anyway. If your school’s top quarter was GPAs 4.1-4.9 and your GPA was 3.94 you are in the second quarter.

And I don’t think assigning rank is a huge deal - it would be all computerized for the vast majority of non-ranking Texas districts. I’m assuming homeschool gets compared to itself in some way.

This admission cycle, the admission decisions were on track as the past 3. In spring 2016 they were complete by the third week in February.
A&M will still assign rank to those schools who don’t. Top 25% is attractive for universities. I would imagine those with higher than the past academic admit minimum test scores will likely still fare pretty well for admission.

A&M takes a lot longer to process because there are more pathways for admissions that applicants are considered for. So far, they are keeping the Blinn Team and Gateway admission options.

I understand people don’t like Academic Admit going away. Hey, it was a sure thing and anxieties were relieved for the Holistic process that can be such a gut wrenching wait. I get that. But overall, think it is a good thing for the University and for everyone out of the top 10% to have the same shot at a spot.

@bluebayou Thanks for the insight! With my kid’s school providing rank and my oldest son ONLY applying to A&M, I’m not too familiar with what other high schools and colleges do. I seem to remember a few people on here being “surprised” (disappointed really) by the rank A&M gave them, so it made me think that assigning rank is not always so cut and dry. Thanks again!

My 2 cents: I’m not in favor of the 10 percent rule at all. I prefer holistic review for everyone. I would prefer instate students to get preference or extra points for their family being a resident of Texas. It may take longer, with holistic admissions, but I feel they are skipping talented students by this blanket auto admission stuff.

I don’t see legally how they can do this. Every time someone tries to change the law it gets shot down. Is there any information stating that the law about Auto Admit is being reversed?

@seniormom2000 Auto Admit (top 10%) will still be in force. There isn’t a law on the books about Academic Admit (guaranteed admission for top 25% students with a threshold SAT or ACT score). TAMU will discontinue Academic Admit for Fall 2021. Beginning next summer, non-Auto Admit students will be holistically reviewed for admission.

@seniormom2000 how could this be illegal? Every school can determine their admissions policy.
Yes, Top 10% rule is still in place (UT is Top 6%).

I have confused Academic Admit with Auto Admit more than once. Auto Admit isn’t optional - likely what she meant.

Frt, I was probably wrong to write “Beginning next summer” because it was unclear.

While not about TAMU - this article touches on the reasoning behind eliminating assured admissions beyond the top 10 percent - and how a university actually brings the plan into place. It gives a brief, rare glimpse into the admissions process.

Currently UTD has slightly higher test scores for incoming first year freshmen than TAMU does. A good portion of this is due to the aggressive merit scholarships they offer. And the school in general is known as a school that attracts studious students. And the article talks about wanting to reach 3,600 freshman in the coming years by gradual increases. They are already over 3,860 just one year later. It’s one more indication of the extremely qualified students we have applying to Texas schools.

The article is a year old - and they have increased the middle 50 percent of ACT to 25-32 and SAT to 1220-1440 scores since this article (and interestingly they have not updated the data on their admissions webpage since the class of 2020). TAMU is 1170-1380 and 25-31. And UTDs strategic plan calls for them to continue increasing the test scores. I haven’t explored TAMUs strategic plan - but it is a safe bet that whatever goals they have - they would want to use the admissions process as a tool to help them reach those goals.

When you cite those TAMU ACT scores, does that include alternate admissions? Or is that just CStat numbers?

@Sybylla - that is directly from the Common Data Set of the 10,039 full time and 1,084 part time enrollment numbers. I believe those numbers include Galveston. Not sure about Blinn TEAM. But when you are talking over 10,000 - the number of students participating in TEAM and Gateway really isn’t that significant. I believe it is under 1000 (We are talking enrolled - not admitted - less than 1/2 of students admitted actually enroll)

@BlueBayouAZ @Sybylla The ACT and SAT scores include all students, including the Century Scholars from 110 targeted under represented high schools in Texas from Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and El Past,

A&M has a large outreach to under served/lower income areas of Texas.

The list of Class of 2019 Valedictorians and Salutatorians for our ISD has come out. Very interesting to see where they are going to college:

2 are going to TAMU
4 are going to UT Austin
1 is going to UT-Dallas
3 are going to U of Houston
1 is going to Harvard
1 is going to Princeton
1 is going to Columbia
3 are going to Stanford
1 is going to Georgetown
1 is going to Wesleyan
1 is going to University of Virginia
1 is going to Miami University (think this is Miami of Ohio and not U of Miami in Florida)
2 are Undecided

The various majors listed are either Business or STEM related fields.

So about half or less of our best and brightest students are going Out of State. Only 2 out of 22 are going to TAMU, 4 out of 22 are going to UT Austin, so therefore, only 6 out of 22 are going to the TX flagship Universities. Only 10 out of 22 are staying in TX. Good to see that some students are staying in TX, I hope that the Undecided students stay in Texas.

These stats show that the Top X percent in our ISD are not going to the flagship Universities which have the Top X percent Automatic Admissions rule. Doing away with the Academic Admit category will make it even harder for high achieving students from very high performing ISDs to get into TAMU. Just my 2 cents.

A neighboring smaller, more rural ISD lists their top 2 as going to U of Houston and TAMU, both in STEM fields.