Minimum Admission Requirements

State public higher education systems often set state or system-wide minimum standards for admission. These minimum standards often require students to submit college entrance exam scores. For several states, entrance exam requirements are poorly aligned, or do not align at all, with the assessments students are required to take during high school.

More than half of all state public higher education systems also include required high school coursework in their minimum standards for admission. In many states, these requirements also do not align to high school graduation requirements. In Maryland, for instance, the state’s public higher education system requires a minimum of 4 credits in Mathematics for admission, but the state PreK-12 system only requires 3 credits. Discrepancies between high school and higher education course requirements signal inconsistent understandings of what constitutes readiness for college and careers, and can create additional obstacles for students seeking to make the transition to college.