ST. PAUL - Students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class would receive guaranteed acceptance at any 4-year college in Minnesota.
That's the goal of a brand new bill currently making its way through the State Capitol.
Republican representative Regina Barr presented her idea to members of the Higher Education and Career Readiness Committee Tuesday afternoon.
"This sends a message to families and students that their hard work doesn't go unnoticed," Rep. Barr explains.
The idea behind the bill is to give Minnesota students preferential treatment over out-of-state students. Barr argues there's an incentive for university's to accept more of out-of-state students as they pay more in tuition.
"Let's face it, out-of-state students pay a higher tuition rate than our in-state students do," Barr says. "I think we owe it to our families and hardworking students to make it possible for as many of them to get into those schools."
Barr is also concerned that various enrollment criteria, other than academics, are preventing the best and brightest from getting accepted into Minnesota colleges.
Two representatives from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities attended Tuesday's committee meeting to share their thoughts on the new bill.
Both representatives feel the bill would be difficult to enforce, because several school districts across the state no longer keep track of student rankings.
They were also concerned that the university's "holistic approach" to enrollment would be undermined. This approach not only considers academics when it comes to enrollment, but also looks at extracurricular activities and community service projects students are involved in.
There is also the concern that high school students would refrain from challenging courses in order to inflate their grade point average.
The representatives argued that trend is already taking place, but they argued putting more pressure on grade point average would sway more students away from challenging math and science classes.
The bill is currently being considered by committee members. The bill is one of six that were presented to the committee on Tuesday.
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