Stay in school and you have a shot at making more than $2 million and driving a Ferrari, said North Dakota University System Chancellor Ham Shirvani on Friday.
Shirvani gave his rousing pep talk to nearly 500 juniors at Minot High School-Magic City Campus, also taking time to discuss some of the upcoming changes in the university system.
Those changes, including more stringent admission standards at the state's colleges and universities, will start being implemented for this year's high school freshman class. The state's 11 public colleges and universities will be grouped into tiers, with the most stringent admissions standards at the state's two research universities, North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota; followed by a slightly less stringent tier including other four-year colleges, among them Minot State; and then another tier including the state's two-year colleges.
North Dakota University System Chancellor Ham Shirvani spoke to juniors at Minot High School-Magic City Campus about college opportunities on Friday.
Shirvani said students will be assigned an index number that would determine whether they will be automatically admitted or placed in a pool of students and considered for admission. The index is based on a combination of their ACT score, their high school grade point average, core courses completed and state residency. Out-of-state students will be judged using the same criteria, though they will not get the extra 10 points added to the index for in-state residents.
Shirvani told the students how important it is for them to work hard in high school, to take difficult classes and to get good grades. If they put in the extra effort, they will be able to go to college and do well. He said he wants to encourage them to stretch their capabilities and to be very well prepared when they go to college.
High school juniors asked questions about the availability of financial aid and the expense of a college education. One of the juniors, citing another part of the reform plan that will mean community colleges will be responsible for teaching remedial classes, asked what would happen if she is admitted to Minot State but still needs to take a remedial class. Shirvani said community college instructors will teach the classes on the four-year college campuses, even though they will be employed by the two-year colleges. Shirvani said the university system is making that change because community college instructors are better suited to teach remedial classes than are those at four-year colleges. Shirvani also assured the students that they will still be able to take dual credit classes, earning both high school and college credit for the same class through all of the universities.
Shirvani also said students will not end up paying more money through the new per-credit hour tuition model that the board has approved and the new tuition model will also help ensure that colleges and universities will not lose revenue. He said individual college campuses will still have control over merit scholarships awarded to students.
Shirvani also spoke to students at Washburn High School on Friday morning.