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Students question ULV admissions standards

Debbie Allison
Staff Writer

There is a notion among some La Verne students that our university differs from similar schools in one significant way: the level of difficulty, or lack thereof, in our admission requirements.

The impression among some is that La Verne is much more lenient with its admission requirements, leaving some students wondering and speculating as to why this is.

“I remember when I was applying to schools, UCs had a list of required classes and La Verne just waived all of them,” Ryan Taketomo, a sophomore political science major, said. “I’ve heard a lot of stories of people applying at the very last minute and La Verne just letting them in.”

Jessica Gerard, a freshman theater arts major, said she believes that La Verne’s supposed lenience in admissions is an effort to sustain our diversity.

“By allowing students who may excel in certain areas of academia but may lack in others – for instance I’ve always struggled in mathematics – they are giving students like this the opportunity to receive the same level of education which they’ve been denied by other schools,” she said.

However, Chris Krzak , dean of admissions, said the notion of lower admissions standards is misguided. He said La Verne maintains high admissions standards.

“First of all, our biggest competition is the CSU and the CSU admission requirements are substantially less than the ULV requirements,” Krzak said.

Krzak said that he believes it all comes down to which schools La Verne is being compared with.

“If you’re comparing us to Occidental or the Claremont Colleges I’m sure their GPA and SATs are higher,” he said.

University of La Verne admission representative Adam Wu agreed, saying that it is all about frame of reference.

Wu said that certain high schools have a higher acceptance rate, so if you are at a competitive high school you are more likely to see many of your peers being accepted to La Verne.

This could support a false impression that La Verne is not as difficult to get into.

Taking a look at the statistics, Krzak also believes La Verne is on the rise.

“Our statistics continue to improve and get stronger,” Krzak said.

The average GPA of confirmed freshmen for fall 2010 is currently at 3.42, but will continue to change as the number of confirmed freshmen for the 2010-2011 year grows.

The average SAT score of confirmed freshmen is up to 1015 from 1008 in the previous year.

As for the actual requirements for admission, La Verne does not have a minimum GPA. This is because the University likes to view applications “holistically,” Wu said.

This means that the admissions staff takes everything into consideration when looking at an application.

They look at whether a student has been working a full-time job or has special family circumstances that could have some effect on their academic performance, Wu said.

“We look at everything besides numbers,” he said. “Everything has to balance out.”

This is one reason why the University places no minimum GPA on their admissions requirements.

As for why students have the idea that the University of La Verne is substantially less difficult to get into than others colleges, Wu believes that it could be because of false information they may have heard from other students.

“They don’t see all the applicants that come through,” Wu said.

While many other university’s have no minimum GPA they do have various ways of evaluating applications.

According to California State University’s website, all Cal States combine the in-state students’ SAT or ACT scores with their high school GPA to see where they will rank on their scale, called the eligibility index.

Looking at SAT scores of the fall 2009 freshmen class, La Verne comes in substantially lower than both Chapman University and UC Riverside, but is within about 100 points of the estimated scores of both the University of Redlands and Cal Poly Pomona, according to College Board.

However, looking at the admit rate, La Verne has a lower percentage of admission compared to many similar schools in the area.

According to the College Board website, the University of Redland’s admit rate was 70 percent for the previous year, while Whittier College came in at 72 percent.

According to the University of California website, UC Riverside’s admission rate for the fall of 2009 was 78.3 percent.

In comparison, the University of La Verne’s admit rate is listed at 68 percent of students who submitted applications.

And yet, despite what the numbers reveal, whether good or bad, this belief that La Verne does not have high enough requirements still remains in the minds of many students.

Debbie Allison can be reached at deborah.allison@laverne.edu.

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