The Office of Admissions is making concerted efforts to change the admissions process to draw a wider variety of students. One of the positive changes being implemented is altered requirements for obtaining a Rush Rhees scholarship, no longer based on Scholastic Aptitude Test scores.
Admissions is now focusing on students being admitted and given financial aid based on a more complete picture of a student, including their relevant background and achievements.
UR is now integrating the admissions process with the financial aid process to ensure that merit-based aid is given to the most qualified applicants. This is a better method of awarding scholarships than giving money based on a student achieving a set SAT score.
This would work toward the goal of finding those students truly interested in what UR has to offer, and not just students who would come because of an attractive financial package. These changes to the dispersement of financial aid will not affect need-based aid given to those students requiring it.
These actions were taken in large part to enroll a more diverse student body using factors beyond ethnicity, such as religion, languages spoken and hardships overcome, for example. It is good that UR is looking for multi-faceted diversity, not simply ethnic and socio-economic background.
Applicants will now have the opportunity to demonstrate to a further extent that they are worthy of merit-based scholarships. This makes the scholarships more valuable, as they have demonstrated that they are worthy in four years rather than four hours. With interviews and more extensive essays, prospectives will give the university a better tool for evaluating applicants.
The admissions office should be commended for recognizing the importance of creating a diverse student body. These changes in the admissions process will create a selectivity that will help achieve a goal of bringing a higher quality student to campus. Admissions is helping move UR in the right direction.