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ULM Admission Standards: Fact, Myth, or Excuse?

ULM is putting the word out that it's harder for athletes to get into their school than Louisiana Tech or Tulane. Is that true, or is this just a case of making excuses for lack of due dilegence?

ULM is looking to hand off some blame.
ULM is looking to hand off some blame.
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

According to the Monroe News Star, ULM requires student athletes have a 21 on the ACT and a 2.35 GPA. That 21 score on the ACT would severely limit any school from taking kids with borderline grades. If you don't have a 21 on the ACT, that's it - you are done

Tulane requires a 28 on the ACT and a 3.5 on the ACT. Only 27% of students who apply are admitted to the university. Does Tulane make exceptions for student athletes? It's possible, but their track record in recruiting doesn't reflect that. Tulane is too difficult of a school for borderline students to attempt to play football and excel in the classroom.

Louisiana Tech requires a 23 on the ACT or a 2.5 GPA. That word "or" is a big word. If you have the test score, you can get in with just a 2.0 GPA. If you have at least a 2.5 GPA, you can get in with just a 15 ACT Composite as long as you have an 18 in English and a 19 in Math.

ULM's Admission Requirements actually read a little different. #2 on the list is the 2.35 overall GPA. #3 says that you can have no more than one developmental course. This allows applicants to have less than an 18 on their English ACT or less than 19 in Math.

#4 is where things get a little different. It states that you have to have a 21 on the ACT or a 2.0 core GPA. The #1 criteria was complete the 19 Regents Core Units. That word "or" makes a big difference.

So for ULM, ACT is almost irrelevant. Get a 2.35 overall GPA with at least a 2.0 in your core courses and you are in. You have to have at least a 18 in English or a 19 in Math. There's that little word "or" again.  I have a very hard time believing that only 7% of Louisiana's high school athletes can meet those requirements.

Now, could ULM be requiring that all of the athletes they recruit also have to have a 21 on their ACT? That's possible, but it's not part of the university's requirements.

Last week, Ouachita's Kennedy Madison committed to Louisiana Tech. He told the News-Star:  "Compared to ULM, they (LA Tech) actually recruit players in this area," said Madison, who scored a 21 on the ACT and holds a 3.7 GPA. "I never could understand why ULM didn't."

Ouachita High School is 7 miles away from ULM.  ULM Head Coach Todd Berry told the News-Star "First and foremost we go to every high school in the parish and most in the area. I can only be in a high school once a year per NCAA rules, but our coaches are in almost every week during that cycle."

In the same article a local coach, who happens to be a ULM grad, said that a player of his (Kevonta Turpin)  was able to get into TCU and LA Tech, but not ULM.  Turpin signed with TCU. That same school also produced a LA Tech signee and a ULM signee.

So ULM is putting out the word that their admission standards are higher than anyone else, but that is not true. If they are requiring all of their recruits to have a 21 on the ACT, that is going above and beyond their standards.

Maybe it's easier for them to go to Oklahoma and pick up players that aren't being recruited by Tulsa. The fact is, Louisiana is heavily recruited and there is more competition (Not from just LA Tech and Tulane, but out of state schools too) for those players.  Maybe it's harder to find a qualified student in Northeast Louisiana, but they are there. Madison was right under ULM's nose.