Why and how universities ought to implement a simpler admission process
The dilemma begins when the student approaches the age of university entrance.
Questions – which course to select, which university to attend, how to apply and whether or not admission would be granted are thoughts to be deeply considered by prospective students and their parents.
Those aspiring to join a university have a few standard steps to follow: Completing an online application form, submitting it, awaiting a response, accepting the offer and paying the fees. But simple as it sounds, the admission process is more devious that it looks because the University has the task of approving the application outright, approving it provisionally pending further information/verified documentation or rejecting it outright for good reason, which means that the success of the admission rests on the time and method of evaluating a student’s application based on information provided and the opportunities available for the student in the particular university. Furthermore, the student would also have had to demonstrate his/her capacity to contribute to the intellectual life of the university.
Since Universities spend a goodly amount of time evaluating the academic achievements of each and every prospective student in order to ascertain suitability for admission, how do they achieve this enormous task simply? The clue lies below. Here are some of the points they would first look at:
The average points in the required high school courses including additional points for certain honors courses and the quality of the student’s academic performance in relation to the opportunities available at the particular high school,
How the student scored in the SAT reading, writing and mathematical tests. The SAT score is a vital criteria for college admission,
Whether the student has followed academic courses beyond the basic high school courses, the content, and performance of such courses that would include University approved honors, advanced placement, and transferable college courses.
Any outstanding academic performance records, special skills, special interests. These could be in any field e.g. performing arts, communication, languages, athletics, etc. including the student’s contribution to social projects, school events, and programs,
Perceived leadership ability based on information provided.
The screening process would also cover any special circumstance such as disabilities, family income, any social or educational disadvantages, family status and other general personal information that would enable the assessor to form a comprehensive review of the applicant’s suitability for University admission. It is clear that the whole admission package is lengthy and includes a number of components.
There are some steps a university could take to simplify the admission process starting with clarifying the admission criteria. This is fair on the part of the University and the student since students need ample information and clear-cut guidelines to be able to choose the University and course for themselves. There should be no ambiguity, and no reason to go to the experts in the admissions field.
This calls for:
- Transparency on the part of the University with its offer package,
- Changes in policy should be immediately imparted when such changes occur that would impact admissions. Such communications should be targeted to all stakeholders not only prospective applicants,
- Assessments for eligibility should be fair, impartial and consistent with no reference to students from different domiciles,
- A sound advice and guidance policy for students which is important since policy divergence could be expected even in different in universities that would have an adverse impact could impact the application if not properly understood.
Considering the seriousness of the issue, it is clear that Universities need to invest in tests and assessment tools that could assess all factors – academic, social, costs and factors that might hinder the student’s ability to complete the full course as gaining entry is only part of the process.
BQU is a proven provider of systems that aid Universities in establishing sound admission processes. BQuTAMS has been developed in conjunction with Veristat expertise to ensure a student attendance management system that delivers the processes, data and evidence required by UKBA for education providers to Tier 4 students in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.
Created : November 17th, 2015