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A more holistic method

May 12, 2010
Benjamin J. Allen
Des Moines Register
November 27, 2006

Benjamin Allen, University of Northern Iowa president

The proposed admission index system will be more accurate in predicting potential for academic success at a state university than the current upper-half rank standard. The formula emphasizes the completion of strong core academic courses in high school. This emphasis should make the high school senior year more relevant, while not penalizing students who take challenging courses in which they might earn a grade lower than an "A."

The use of a multi-variant formula, like the proposed index, levels the playing field where differences might exist among school districts in such things as academic rigor, availability of courses, size of the high school, quality of the school system, grade inflation, etc. This more holistic evaluation method will better serve students, parents, school districts and Iowa's three state universities.