WSR 05-05-073




[ Filed February 15, 2005, 12:57 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-01-145.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Higher Education Coordinating Board minimum requirements for freshman admission.

Hearing Location(s): At WSU Riverpoint Campus, 535 East Trent Avenue, Phase One Building, Auditorium (SCLS 122), Spokane, WA 99202, on April 7, 2005, at 4 p.m.; at Highline Community College, 2400 South 240th Street, Library Board Room, Des Moines, WA 98000, on April 12, 2005, at 3 p.m.; at Central Washington University, 400 East University Way, Student Union Building, Yakama Room, Ellensburg, WA 98926, on April 19, 2005, at 4 p.m.; at Tacoma Community College, 6501 South 19th Street, Baker Room, Tacoma, WA 98466, on April 25, 2005, at 4 p.m.; and at Washington State University, Vancouver, 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Avenue, Rooms SS 129-130, Vancouver, WA 98686, on May 3, 2005, at 4 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 28, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Holly Zanville, Chief Academic Officer, 917 Lakeridge Way, P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 704-6222, by 5 p.m., May 20, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Patricia Shorb by April 1, 2005, or (360) 753-7824.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: No current rules exist. The Higher Education Coordinating Board governs freshman admission policies by a series of board resolutions and agency guidelines. These rules would bring four changes to the current admission policy requirements and for the first time make the admission requirements part of the Washington Administrative Code. The four changes are:

1. Increasing the high school math requirement from three credits to four;

2. Revising the science requirement to include two credits of laboratory based science, one of which must be algebra based;

3. Requiring admission applicants in each year of high school to earn at least three credits in courses required for college admission; and

4. Eliminating the statewide admission index, a formula for evaluating admission applicants that is based on standardized test scores and high school grades.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Research and the recent experiences of freshman students entering Washington public baccalaureate institutions has shown that the current minimum standards for admission, first adopted in 1988, no longer adequately prepare students for college-level study.

Establishing the admission standards in the Washington Administrative Code.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28B.76.290(1).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 28B.76.290(1).

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Higher Education Coordinating Board, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: John McLain, 917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA 98504-3430, (360) 753-7833.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The small business impact statement is not required according to chapter 19.85 RCW and RCW 34.05.310(4).

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The cost-benefit analysis is not required according to RCW 34.05.328(5).

February 15, 2005

Holly Zanville

Senior Administrator

Chief Academic Officer


Chapter 250-83 WAC


WAC 250-83-010   Definitions.   "Public baccalaureate institution" or "institution" means any college or university which is operated by the state of Washington and awards bachelor's degrees: The University of Washington, Washington State University, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, Western Washington University, and any baccalaureate institution created or acquired by the state of Washington subsequent to the adoption of these rules and operated by the state of Washington to award bachelor's degrees.

"Freshman" means a student who has not enrolled in college course work after leaving high school, and who may or may not have earned college credits while in high school.

"Applicant" means a person seeking admission as a freshman to a public baccalaureate institution.

"Core courses" are those courses that are designed to prepare students for college and that applicants must complete to be considered for admission as freshmen to a public baccalaureate institution. The higher education coordinating board determines the academic subject areas in which applicants must complete core courses. Each local school district, in consultation with the higher education coordinating board, determines which of its individual course offerings meet the definition of a core course.

"High school credit" or "credit" shall be as defined by the state board of education in WAC 180-51-050.

"Algebra-based science course" means a science course that requires students to use the knowledge and skills generally obtained in the first year of high school algebra. An algebra-based science course requires concurrent enrollment in or successful completion of first year high school algebra.

"ACT assessment" or "ACT" means the college entrance examination published by ACT, Inc., Iowa City, Iowa.

"SAT reasoning test" or "SAT" means the college entrance examination published by the College Board, New York, New York.


WAC 250-83-020   Effective date.   These rules take effect for all freshmen seeking admission to the state's public baccalaureate institutions during and after the summer 2008 academic term.


WAC 250-83-030   Replacement of previous admission guidance and policies.   These rules supersede previously established higher education coordinating board guidance and policies governing minimum basic admission requirements and alternative admission requirements for freshmen.


WAC 250-83-040   Purpose.   The purpose of the minimum admission requirements for freshmen is to ensure that:

Freshmen selected to enroll at the state's public baccalaureate institutions are academically prepared for college;

The amount of remedial instruction required for recent high school graduates is minimized; and

Students and families understand that completion of a rigorous high school curriculum in high school is critically important for success in college.


WAC 250-83-050   Minimum requirements for freshman admission.   Applicants seeking admission as freshmen to a public baccalaureate institution must:

(1) Successfully complete the following core courses:

Four credits of English, including three credits of literature and composition; may include one credit of elective English, such as creative writing, journalistic writing, and English as a second language; and

Four credits of mathematics, with at least one credit completed in the senior year of high school, including:

One credit each of algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra or three credits of integrated mathematics through integrated mathematics III; and

One credit that may include courses such as statistics, precalculus, an algebra-based science course, or an additional mathematics course beyond algebra; and

Three credits of social science; and

Two credits of laboratory science, including one credit of algebra-based biology, chemistry, or physics; and

Two credits of the same foreign language, the same native American language, or American sign language; and

One credit of fine, visual, or performing arts, or one additional credit in mathematics, English, social science, laboratory science, foreign language, native American language, or American sign language.

Students who successfully complete precalculus or mathematics analysis before high school graduation will be considered to have met the mathematics requirement.

Applicants who achieve proficiency on the mathematics section of the tenth-grade Washington assessment of student learning will be determined to have completed the first year of high school algebra and geometry, or integrated mathematics I and II.

Applicants who achieve proficiency on the reading and writing sections of the tenth-grade Washington assessment of student learning will be determined to have completed the first two years of high school core course requirements in English.

Applicants are encouraged to take additional core courses in high school when available.

(2) A minimum of three credits of core courses each year of high school including the senior year.

(3) Earn a minimum unweighted cumulative grade point average of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale.

(4) Take the SAT reasoning test or the ACT assessment and submit examination scores to each institution where the applicant is applying for admission.

(5) Colleges and universities recognize that experiences and activities in addition to academic achievement can contribute to a successful college application, and that students with diverse experiences and backgrounds contribute to a healthy and vibrant higher education learning community. Therefore, institutions may consider factors such as students' grade point averages, test scores, the overall strength of their high school curricula, and nonacademic characteristics such as their personal essays, community activities, personal circumstances or special talents. No more than fifteen percent of the freshmen enrolled annually at each institution may be deficient in their completion of core courses.


WAC 250-83-060   Exceptions to the minimum freshman admission requirements.   International applicants are not required to provide SAT or ACT test scores. Other applicants unable to provide SAT or ACT test scores may petition the institution for a waiver. No more than five percent of freshmen enrolled annually at each institution may receive waivers from this requirement.


WAC 250-83-070   Authority and responsibilities of institutions.   Each institution may establish additional requirements that exceed these minimum requirements for admission at that institution.

Each institution establishes the procedures applicants must follow and the deadlines that applicants must meet to be considered for admission at that institution.

Each institution establishes the processes by which applicants are selected for admission at that institution.

Institutions reserve the right to request additional information about the academic credentials presented by applicants for admission from high schools and other education providers.


Washington State Code Reviser's Office