The Offices of Admissions and Enrollment expect changes to ACU’s admissions process to decrease the total number of applicants – but those who do apply will be more serious about attending ACU.
Buck James, chief enrollment officer, said beginning this year ACU will not wave the application fee and has significantly expanded the application to provide a better picture of each student.
“Both of those things together are kind of going to weed out the people who are kind of casual shoppers and get people who are really serious,” James said. “We knew in doing that, that we would have slightly less applications, but the ones we would get would be more serious and probably a better fit for ACU.”
The extended application will go beyond looking only at GPAs and standardized test scores. James said the new application will look at the full picture of the student and show how he or she might fit into ACU.
The official number of early applicants has not yet been determined, but Mark Lavender, director of admissions, said overall applications are down by a couple hundred compared to this time last year. However, he said the office has seen a much higher percentage of students who are completing their applications, suggesting the changes have been successful in creating a more serious applicant pool.
Enrollment Management made the switch in 2009 from a rolling deadline system to set deadlines. In the past, prospective students could submit applications throughout the year. Now, applicants must submit the proper paperwork by Nov. 1 for early admission and Feb. 1 for regular admission.
All applicants will be informed by Nov. 19 of their acceptance to ACU.
Students who are deferred at the early admissions deadline can resubmit their applications in February. James said a deferral can often provide a “wake-up call” for the student.
“We had a number of examples of that last year,” James said. “Students who were deferred but really wanted to get in, really buckled down on their school work and were eventually accepted.”
Lavendar said the deadline approach has benefited both prospective students and ACU.
“Having two enrollment deadlines allows us to consolidate all of our communications at one time to students,” Lavender said. “It really gives us an early indication of who is really serious about ACU. It allows us to work earlier with students to help them through, specifically, financial aid and scholarships.”