Avoid disaster by closing admissions

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Illustration by Trevor Robertson

As UVU rounds the corner of its 75th anniversary, it may be time to rethink the open admissions policy.

Despite being one of the most underfunded universities in the state, the university continues to embrace a boundless policy of admittance. In 2011, UVU imposed enrollment standards for the first time, requiring all students to have at least a 2.5 GPA and a composite ACT score of at least 19.

Since then enrollment has been on the decline, but the student population is expected to increase to more than 40,000 students in the next six years. UVU does not have the capacity to handle the current number of students, let alone accommodate new growth in the student body unless major changes are made.

Before even thinking about admitting those extra 10,000 students, UVU first needs to address the lack of parking space, overcrowded classrooms, lack of faculty and paying off previous investments (such as the new parking structure).

Though we were just awarded more than $21 million in the recent legislative session, President Holland admitted it is not enough to maintain the institution’s long-term goals.

Unless there is a buried lake of crude oil hidden beneath the school, UVU needs to find another source of revenue, and they need to find it fast. Perhaps a miracle will happen and that cash flow will come in time, but chances are we wolverines are sailing on a sinking ship.

There is however, a blasphemous solution: have UVU create a closed-admissions policy with even tighter requirements and have students write an application letter to get in. Yes, enrollment will decrease in the short-term, but in order to progress and prepare for further growth it is necessary to create some restrictions.

I realize this goes against everything UVU stands for with inclusivity and second chances. Regardless, something must be done to tighten enrollment or else students will have to continue paying to accommodate the influx of students coming after them.

Closing enrollment would also help students develop a sense of school pride, inherent in the fact that they would have to apply to get in. UVU students would finally experience the joy of opening an acceptance letter after applying to the university they knew they wanted to attend.

This is no longer just the school students choose when they’re not accepted anywhere else; this is Utah Valley University. It’s time to be the first choice.

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