NAU’s admissions pilot program opens door of opportunity for Arizona students

Image of NAU's campus and students taking a campus tour, walking in front of a building outside

NAU’s admissions pilot program opens door of opportunity for Arizona students

February 10, 2022

The Arizona Board of Regents today approved Northern Arizona University’s request for a pilot program of modified admissions criteria to more closely align with Arizona high school graduation requirements, thereby increasing access for students throughout the state. Across Arizona, nearly 50,000 students in grades 9-12 (according to preliminary data), are not offered all the core courses required for university admission, potentially impacting college access.

The six-year pilot project will provide increased access opportunities for students who attend high schools where all required core courses aren’t offered. NAU will have a team of specialized counselors to provide robust advising and academic support to these students to enable their success at the university.

“With this pilot program, NAU is elevating its commitment to increase access and eliminate barriers to a quality higher education,” said ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson. “The lack of these courses at a student’s school or ease of access to these courses through alternative channels may have a significant impact on a student’s choice to go on to college after high school. I believe NAU’s innovative program will open a door of opportunity for these students, and I thank President Cruz Rivera for his forward-thinking vision to increase access for students in our state.”

Current ABOR policy for undergraduate assured admission requires students to meet 16 core course competencies, earn a 3.0 GPA or better in the core courses or rank in the top 25 percent of their graduating high school class. Core courses are four years each of math and English, two years each of social science and a second language, three years of lab science and one year of fine art/career and technical education. Universities may use discretion to admit applicants who earn 2.5 GPA or above in the core courses with no more than two missing core classes that are not in the same subject area.

Increasing access and educational attainment among Arizonans is a key initiative for the board and the state as Arizona’s continued prosperity depends on having an educated workforce. The board recently implemented the new Arizona Promise Scholarship that covers tuition and fees for qualifying low-income, Arizona resident students who enroll at Arizona State University, NAU or the University of Arizona.

“President Cruz Rivera’s innovative admissions pilot program is part of an extensive effort to improve post high school education for Arizona students,” said ABOR Executive Director John Arnold. “The board appreciates the actions of all our public universities and our many partners who are working to advance education in our state.”

Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |
Julie Newberg, 602-229-2534 |