University speeds up admissions response

By Julian Scharman

The University has taken strides to ensure that the fretful period between the slapping of the admission stamp and the University reply will be minimal.

Beginning at the start of the 2007 University academic year, students applying by the early application deadline of Nov. 15 will have to wait only until Dec. 15 to get an answer.

Those submitting applications by Jan. 2 for the regular deadline will be notified by March.

In the past, the Office of Admissions reviewed applications in a rolling system, looking over applications as they came in, said Keith Marshall, associate provost for Enrollment Management.

“Students submitting applications who were clearly very qualified, we might admit them within a week or two,” Marshall said. “However for the students who fell more in the middle, we would hold onto their application and then review more candidates with very similar profiles at the same time.”

The decision to adjust and consolidate reply dates is something that will benefit students greatly by giving them more information about whether to apply elsewhere earlier,” said Garrett Snowden, junior in LAS, who applied to the University early in October 2003 and heard in February of 2004.

“The University has deadlines to fulfill and can prepare to get the results or decisions out to students sooner, so they will know early enough to make decisions about their future and whether to apply to another school or start preparing for Illinois if they get accepted,” Snowden said.

High school students in the Champaign-Urbana area see the new reply dates as a message from the University to applicants everywhere, said Samuel Furrer, counselor at Urbana High School.

“One reaction that I have seen from some students is that they are seeing this as yet another way that the UI is becoming more competitive and more selective. I don’t believe that is necessarily the intent from UI, but it is a perception that is out there,” Furrer said.

One of the only other substantial alterations made to the application process for candidates will be the opportunity to select a second major option instead of the former one.

Allowing students to pick a second choice will make it more absolute for students in the event that the candidate gets denied based on credentials or the program being filled, Marshall said.

He added that, in the past, once a student was a denied, the University would suggest an alternate major or general curriculum.

“The amendments made to the application process at the University is really about the students and helping reduce obscurity surrounding deadlines in relation to getting an answer,” Marshall said.

“We understood that the application period was a process that would induce a lot of stress and was rather confusing and mysterious to applicants and counselors alike,” Marshall said. “So we’re really just trying to take some of that mystery out of it.”