New report expects NC deferred admission program to hurt minority, low-income students

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A controversial new program in our state could change your college student’s destination.

This is a story we first told you about last month, when ECU administrators raised major concerns about the program known as NC GAP. There were a lot of questions about it before, but now we have a possible plan of action outlining how it could affect students.

A new analysis shows NC GAP would decrease minority and low-income enrollment in state universities.

The NC Guaranteed Admission Program would delay students considered at academic risk from attending UNC system schools, diverting them to community college first.

We spoke with ECU Provost Ron Mitchelson last month. He expressed concerns about the number of students ECU could lose. But now, he has different concerns.

“Students from rural settings are disproportionately impacted. Military are disproportionately impacted. Minority students are disproportionately impacted. So, our interest in serving all of those categories is real and so we have concerns for that,” Provost Mitchelson said.

A new report suggests 2 ways to implement it.

One method suggests each state university simply accept 2.5% fewer students. In 2014, that would’ve knocked out nearly 2,000 students.

The second option suggests raising the minimum GPA requirement from 2.5 to 2.7. Applying that to 2014 enrollment, it eliminates about 500 North Carolina students, 83% non-white. For ECU, that would cut about 60 students.

State lawmakers created NC GAP to cut costs for students and the state. On average, NC GAP would save the state about $8,000 per student and save each student more than $6,300. Yet, another main goal is to produce more graduates with 4 year degrees. But university administrators, like Mitchelson don’t think this plan accomplishes that.

NC GAP is already law, so unless UNC leaders can convince the legislature to change it during the April session, the program goes into effect next year.

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