UI changes process for admissions

The University is slightly changing its admissions process for incoming freshman, which will now rely on honesty from the students — at least until they accept a potential offer.

Aspiring applicants are being asked to submit their GPAs and classes taken during their online application process instead of the applicant’s high school sending the transcript. But the students who do decide to enroll at the University will be asked to confirm their data.

If they are caught lying, the consequences will be severe.

“Their offer of admission will be automatically rescinded. If a student misreported grades … that’s a misrepresentation, and it’s kind of a ‘no questions asked’ policy,” said Stacey Kostell, director of undergraduate admissions.

Students can go back into the application and fix typos, if necessary, prior to the office receiving the official transcript.

“We’ve really tried to give students a lot of information upfront to make sure what they are reporting is accurate,” she said. “It should never been an instance of ‘I didn’t realize that I hit the wrong keystroke.’”

After the online submission, students’ applications will be complete as long as the University was chosen as an option to send ACT and SAT exam scores. This will allow the application process to be completed weeks earlier since the University would not be waiting on the paper transcripts to arrive and be processed, Kostell said.

“At times, it would take us four days to open mail,” she said.

The admissions office normally hires “extra help” during a time period when the office is flooded with paperwork. This year, the office won’t hire additional staff and will purchase a limited number of file folders and labels.

Kostell estimates savings in the range of “tens of thousands of dollars.” She added that the system will also benefit the applicants.

“(Applicants) are going to find out immediately that their application is here and complete. There’s no more black hole of ‘where did my transcript (go)?’” she said.

Sue Biemeret, a college counselor at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, in Lincolnshire, Ill., said she sees the advantages for the admissions office but not the students themselves. The school sent 132 students from a class of more than 1,000 to the University this fall.

“It’s cumbersome and time-consuming (for students),” Biemeret said. “However, I think it will help the admissions office facilitate the handling of so many thousands of documents that arrive within a two-week span in the fall.”

The University consulted with other schools who are already using the system and tested a pilot version with last year’s class of international students and students from Glenbrook North High School, in Northbrook, Ill. Out of the approximately 7,000 applicants, only one student misreported scores.