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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 23, 1997)
bpbbts- aj e_ WEDNESDAY
Finishing well Retro house April 23,1997
The Nebraska men’s and women’s gymnastics The Mary Riepma Ross Film Theater will play -
teams both finished on high notes and look to build host to a collection of eight educational films from Que Sera Sera
- for a good year next season. PAGE 10 the ’50s and ’60s tonight. PAGE 12 Light rain, high 58. Fog in low 40.
VOL. 96COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN SINCE 1901 NO. 144
Admission standards rise
Requirements to attract successful students, Griesen says
By Erin Gibson
The 1997 freshman class may be the
most elite class ever to enter the Uni
versity of Nebraska-Lincoln because of
new, higher admissions standards.
Lisa Schmidt, UNL director of ad
missions, said the “the strongest fresh
man class (UNL has) ever admitted”
will be brighter and better prepared for
college work than its predecessors.
Between 200 and 300 prospective
freshmen will be denied admission,
Schmidt said. A total of 64 freshmen
applicants were denied admission last
fall, she said.
James Griesen, UNL vice chancel
lor for student affairs, said the new
standards mean students who come to
the university will be prepared to suc
“I don’t have any question that this
will make us a better university,”
Griesen said. “The student is always at
an advantage going into an environ
ment with the greatest chance for suc
Those students not admitted will be
encouraged to first attend a Nebraska
community college and then reapply to
UNL when their chance for success
here is greater, Griesen said.
Chancellor James Moeser said
UNL’s old “open admissions” policy
has resulted in 25 percent of freshmen
now dropping out before their sopho
more year. Not all of those students
flunk, he said, but many struggle to
meet minimum course requirements.
“We’ve admitted many students
who are not prepared to succeed at a
university like this,” Moeser said.
In the past, he said, the university’s
goal was to enroll a large number of
students, not just those with a chance
“Our goal is changing,” Moeser
Griesen said it was unfair for the
university to admit students who have
little chance of success. The new stan
dards will change that current, unjust
practice, he said.
The new admissions standards,
adopted by the NU Board of Regents
in 1993, went into effect for the first
time this spring for prospective UNL
students applying for fall 1997 admis
To be automatically admitted, stu
dents now must take stricter courses
in high school, and either be ranked in
the top half of their high school class,
score 20 or higher on the ACT or score
950 or higher on the SAT.
Applicants who do not meet the
requirements are placed under indi
vidual review. Many of those students
are later admitted with deficiencies, and
will have to take UNL courses to make
up for high school courses they did not
Please see ADMIT on 3
Out with the old„
Prospective University of Nebraska-Lincoln undergraduates now must meet
tougher, new general admission requirements in order to be automatically
admitted. Starting this fall, students must complete additional high school
units of mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences and foreign language.
Students will also have to score at least 950 on the SAT, score 20 or higher
on the ACT or be in the top half of their graduating class. Applicants not
meeting all requirements will be individually reviewed for admission.
BN! Admission Requirements
| Mathematics 2 Mathematics 4
iN^ralSc^nSs 2 Natural Sciences 3
School-aid bill could
alter fund distribution
By Erin Schulte
Debate began Tuesday on some of
the 40 amendments to a bill promising
to be the session’s most tediously de
LB806 would change how state
school aid is distributed — consider
ing factors such as population sparsity,
number of non-English speaking stu
dents and poverty rate — and cut the
Nebraska public school systems from
656 to 289.
“This bill will impact more commu
nities in this state than any other piece
of legislation this session,” Sen. Elaine
Stuhr of Bradshaw said.
The bill was drafted in an attempt
to counter last year's passage of
LB 1114, which would limit the amount
of property taxes levied by local gov
ernments. Schools will be receiving less
of the property tax revenue.
Opponents say the bill will force
many small schools across the'state to
close. Under the bill, elementary
school-only districts would merge with
a single high school system in order to
continue to receive state aid.
The elementary school board would
be a subdistrict and would continue to
make hiring and firing decisions, but
its budget would be determined by the
high school board. Residents of sub
districts could vote and run for high
school board positions.
Those in favor of the bill say it will
force schools to spend more efficiently.
The bill establishes a $4,110 average
per-student spending value, which does
not include costs for transportation or
special,1 education. Schools spending
less than the average should be helped
by the bill; those spending more may
Some critics say that urban schools
in Lincoln in Omaha will receive too
Please see SCHOOLS on 7
Foaow THE WHEY
Donors use legal loopholes to back candidates
By Matthew Waite
Copyright Ikuly Nebraskan 1997
Almost one-third of all money flow
ing from individuals into the coffers of
Nebraska political candidates spills
through loopholes abused by donors,
records from the last campaigns show.
But images of smoke-filled, back
room political dealings don’t hold —
the donors are mostly husbands, wives
ami children donating in blocks.
During the last month, the Daily
Nebraskan took a look at the people
giving to Nebraska election campaigns.
Some large donors kept their money
in (me party. Others spread their money
But (me thing was clear through
out — the same group of people make
the rain fall in Nebraska politics.
In each election, the same donors’
names appeared, and die top donors
rarely changed. In each race, and
through each legal campaign finance
loophole, they donated.
The loopholes were bundling and
soft money. Bundling is where blocks
of associated people donate at the same
time to make a bigger impact. They can
be families or they can be businessmen
and women from the same company,
giving as individuals.
Soft money is money from compa
nies and wealthy individuals that goes
directly to the national parties. The
national parties then turn around and
funnel that money back into state party
A cross section of the people who
used those loopholes to donate the
■ Terrance Watanabe, the chair
man and CEO of the Oriental Trading
Co., a mail order house in Omaha.
Mother Jones magazine listed him as
the 22nd largest donor in the nation,
mostly because of his more than
$250,000 in soft moneys donations.
■ Con Agra Corp se state’s larg
est agriculture-based company. The
corporation’s political action commit
tee was one of the most generous, and
they wore the largest soft money do
nor in the state.
■ Vinod Gupta, chairman and
CEO of American Business Co., a busi
ness database company in Omaha.
Gupta — along with his family mem
bers — were near die top of the house,
senate and soft money donor lists for
Nebraska givers. Mother Jones listed
Please see FINANCE on 6
Read the Daily Nebraskan on the World Wide Web at http: / / www.unl.edu IDai^Neb
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