UI Admissions streamlines process for first-year applicants

BY KRISTEN EAST | JULY 12, 2012 6:30 AM

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High-school seniors applying to the University of Iowa will now know within 48 hours if they've been selected to join the Hawkeye community.

Officials in the UI Admissions Office announced Tuesday their plans to streamline the admissions process by having first-year/freshman applicants self-report their high-school course work, test scores, grade-point averages, and class ranks when they apply for admission. Students will receive an admissions decision within two business days of applying.

"We're really excited about it," said Michael Barron, the assistant provost for UI Admissions. "What happens after admissions, the more information students have about the real opportunities that exist, the better their decision will be for where to go, and we certainly think that will be helpful to us."

The new application can be found online in mid-August.

Barron said UI officials aren't concerned about applicants being dishonest with self-reporting their academic information.

"We certainly considered that factor," he said. "What we've learned is two things: Students are fundamentally honest, and especially so if you let them know that there are quick and swift consequences if it turns out their answers weren't [accurate]."

Though students will no longer need to send an official high-school transcript and test scores to receive an admission decision, Barron said these documents will be required by July 1 to complete enrollment.

The change will also allow UI Admissions personnel to spend more time helping transfer and international students with their applications.

"Transfer students have a different type set of questions, so there's more time spent with an individual transfer student," Barron said. "Increasing students who transfer to Iowa is also a goal and has been for some time. This sort of shift in personnel in the transfer arena is going to help us with that decision as well."

Transfer and international applicants will still be required to send official high-school transcripts and test scores.

While UI officials do expect an increase in the number of applicants, Barron said, the university won't have to turn away more students as a result of the change.

"I don't see this as putting us in a position to where we would have to turn away more students," he said. "Just because you offer admission to students doesn't mean they're going to accept the offer."

The UI receives more than 20,000 freshman applications and more than 42,000 total applications each year.

A similar admissions process was implemented at Iowa State University for the 2011-12 school year. Applicants also receive an admissions decision within 48 hours.

"It's been very successful," said Maura Flaschner, the associate director of admissions at Iowa State. "It has just cut down on the amount of time to review students' material. It has also created an awareness among students of their academic record."

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