U looks to change admissions policies, keep numbers in control

Latasha Webb

The College of Human Ecology freshman enrollment is 54 percent higher than expected this fall. In an effort to keep the student population in control and thriving, the college, along with General College, the Institute of Technology and the Carlson School of Management, is changing admission policies.

“We knew (the enrollment increase) was going to happen. We spent a lot of time preparing for that,” said College of Human Ecology Dean Shirley Baugher. “It’s not going to be a problem.”

The University usually admits about 5,000 freshmen every year, a number that grew to almost 5,300 this year due to a 6.5 percent raise in applications.

High school students applying to the General College, the Carlson School or CHE this year will be accepted according to a new policy designed to give more control to the colleges.

Under CHE and the Carlson School’s old policy, students received a score based on high school rank and ACT or SAT score, said Jan Schlueter, student services coordinator at the Carlson School.

General College has never used automatic admission, but it too is altering its admission process in an effort to base admission decisions on a more general review.

Under the new policy, the three colleges will consider students on a more individual basis. The colleges will no longer admit every student who applies by Dec. 17 and meets the academic requirements.

Schlueter said this will allow colleges to accept students who didn’t score high enough but were strong in other areas, such as leadership, volunteerism and extracurricular activities.

The policy will also allow colleges to accept the number of freshmen they feel comfortable with.

“We’re not doing automatic admissions anymore. We’re hoping that this will allow us to have a little bit more control over our freshman class,” Schlueter said.

The Institute of Technology is not changing admission policy but is raising its standard: Students applying for the school will be assessed using the previous standard of a combination of class ranking and ACT or SAT scores, but now their scores will have to be slightly higher.

“Our policies are not designed to keep students out of the University,” said Wayne Sigler, director of admissions. “We have four colleges for which we have a very high demand.”

Sigler added that the University is trying to manage enrollment so admitted students get a high quality education. The five other colleges that accept freshmen are considering adopting the new admissions policy but will not near a decision until fall 2003.

Extra students strain residence halls, classes with labs, computer facilities, jobs and internship opportunities, Sigler said.

“Not one of us got into the business of admissions to deny students admission. We know we have to do it and do it for the right reasons,” he said. “We’re trying to do a good job with the students once they’re here.”

 

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