National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Fall 2008


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 9:2, Fall/Winter 2008. Copyright © 2008 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In 2007 I had the rare pleasure of overseeing the transformation of our 45- year-old honors program into an honors college. The entrance requirements for our honors program had been designed to maximize the number of participants and largely boiled down to whether the student was interested in pursuing honors. However, admission to the Honors College included a scholarship and thus required more discernment in admission standards. Thus, I began to review the entrance requirements for ten honors colleges in Texas and its surrounding states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Not surprisingly, most other universities focused on high school grade point average (GPA) and standardized test scores. The general practice among the schools was admission to the honors college for students in the top 10% of their high school graduating class, a 27 or higher composite score on the ACT, and 1200 or higher on the math and reading portions of the SAT. As a result we used those numbers as rough benchmarks for what we wanted our “typical” Honors College student to look like. In addition to these numbers, we added an interview to the selection process.