DS View: Standards

UND’s plans to raise admission standards may make the university more impressive but less accessible.


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UND is seeking to reform its previous open-arms admissions policy in favor of something a little more stringent.

As it stands now, acceptance letters to our fine university are being thrown around like $1 bills in a strip club. Each spring, they fall on Grand Forks high school seniors heavier than the snow. For North Dakota students, acceptance to UND may as well be an assumed rite of passage.

This is partly because the university offers automatic admission to applicants with an ACT score of 21 — the national average — and a GPA of 2.5 — lower than the national GPA average of 3.0. It’s not exactly the makeup of the academic elite.

But then again, who says it needs to be? Who says a university in a state most people believe is little more than a myth needs to have high standards, a four-essay application form and more hurdles in its way than the Tri-wizard Trophy?

Well, we do.

Because even though this is a university that half the students attend because it was the shortest application form and another fourth enrolled in because it involved only moving their possessions a few blocks to campus, it is a state research university.

It is a university that has attracted its fair share of bright, well-versed professors. It is a university where you can acquire a degree that will open up an entire world of possibilities. It is a university that will pile on what has come to be understood as a manageable amount of debt and loans compared to the rest of the nation.

We believe UND is capable of providing a quality education to those who attend. We also believe the university should have standards slightly higher than the snow piles that line its sidewalks nine months out of the year.

So while higher standards need to be eased into and should in no way be considered a quick fix to many of the admissions-related problems facing the university, they are a positive change — and change is vitality.

In order for the university to continue to improve and compete on any level, it needs to be willing to adapt and change with the times, and we, as students, must do the same.