(WICHITA, Kan.) — If you think its hard to pay for college, it just became harder for Kansas students to get in.
This week, the Kansas Board of Regents approved tougher admission standards for incoming students. The change takes place in four years, so it will affect students who are currently in middle school.
The small crowd at Andover Central High isn't here for last minute college saving strategies. Its a seminar for parents of middle and elementary schoolers who are future college students.
Garth Hall has a daughter won't enter college for another five years. "It's never too early to start planning, " he said. "With the way costs are going up for college these days, you need to start planning before the kid's born, I think."
But paying for college isn't the only thing parents will find difficult. By the time those middle schoolers are ready to come on to a college campus, it will be more difficult for those students to get accepted into the Kansas public university system.
"The kids need to be a little more prepared when they go there," said John Calabro, a guidance counselor at Andover Central High. "So will it be harder to get in there? I hope so."
In his 20 years with the Andover Schools, he has seen many students leave for college. "When you look at a school like KU, that has a four year graduation rate around 30%, it's obvious that something needs to be done," he said. "You have kids going there that need remediation that shouldn't be there."
So now it isn't just about making the grade, and then paying for college. "I think the grades are very important," said Hall, the father of the 7th grader. "That's going to give the student to learn much more rapidly. Obviously you have to be able to pay to get there."
It's about making the higher grade, and then paying for college.
Under the new standards, students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average in a pre-college curriculum, and either an ACT score of 21 or higher, a total SAT score of 980 or higher, or rank in the top third in the graduating class.
Currently, students must complete a pre-college curriculum (with no GPA requirement) and either get a 21 or higher on the ACT or graduate in the top third of their class.