Texas members of the high school class of 2011 have posted ACT college entrance exam scores slightly below the national average.
Officials with ACT Inc., the Iowa-based not-for-profit that administers the test, reported Wednesday that the nationwide average composite score was 21.1 on the 1-to-36 scale.
The Texas average composite score was 20.8, which is the same as last year.
Twenty-five percent of ACT test-takers across the country met the college-readiness standard in the four core subjects of English, math, reading and science. In Texas, the rate was 24 percent.
Texas Christian University Dean of Admissions Raymond Brown said the number shouldn't be ignored, but he also said it's not the best indicator of how a student will fare in his or her freshman courses.
Brown said a student's transcript is the best predicator of future success.
"That is really the most important predictor, the transcript," Brown said. "And you can figure this out in other ways, too. You can predict what you'll do in the future by what you've done in the past."
Brown said the statistic is piece of the puzzle when those in admissions look at potential students. TCU, a private institution, wants to see as much as it can about a student when deciding about admission, he said.
"I think it's cause for concern, but we have a long way to go toward whatever goal that is out there that has been set," Brown said.
Brown also pointed out that Texas numbers show that the college-readiness rate has gone up 6 percent in the last five years.
TCU freshmen had mixed reactions to the numbers.
"That's kind of shocking, especially since we're in the kind of society that expects students to go to college," said Rachel Hilton, a freshman from Heath.
"It doesn't really surprise me," said Megan Farrelly, a freshman from Fort Worth. "I know that public education really needs to step it up in the coming years to compete with international students."