How Do Colleges Make Admissions Decisions?

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How Do Colleges Make Admissions Decisions?

November 1, 2013

Photo of Amy HolderbyToday's post was provided by Amy Holderby, Director of University Admission at Cedarville University. Amy has served at Cedarville for 16 years and also has experience as a high school guidance counselor. Listen to an archive of her webinar entitled "Helping Your Student Choose a College."


"Begin with the end in mind." That’s good counsel for just about anything in life. Having a vision and a purpose allows us to stay focused on the end goal.

When colleges make admissions decisions, they are seeking to admit students "with the end in mind." Specifically, will they be successful in their college experience and able to achieve their educational goals at the institution?

Colleges should develop a student into a highly educated and positive contributor to society. Christian colleges intentionally design experiences that develop students into all God has created them to be — spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and professionally.

Admissions criteria, then, are used as guidelines to help admissions officers determine if a student has the "raw materials" to meet the University’s stated outcomes for graduates.

Remember: Graduating — on time — is one of the best ways a college can help you significantly reduce college costs. Last year Cedarville University's graduation rate was second highest among all institutions included in U.S.News & World Report’s listing of top Midwest regional colleges.

At Cedarville University, when our admissions counselors review an application for admission, they are looking for students who will most likely graduate and have the best chance of developing the traits exemplified by the University portrait statements. This means that we are looking for students who already possess a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ and have a "track record" of serving Him in the local church and community.

Being an educational institution, we must also ensure that admitted students have the intellectual ability and motivation to thrive at our institution. Students who do not meet these benchmarks will struggle to the point that their college experience is overwhelming, and the data shows they are most likely to drop out altogether.

So, as a parent of a potential college student, begin with the end in mind. Realistically assess the abilities God has instilled in your child and then begin to look for the post-high school experience that can best shape and sharpen those gifts. Have a vision for how God can use your child to impact this world for Christ.

P.S. It's not too late to apply for Fall 2014! If your student is considering Cedarville University, encourage them to apply online as soon as possible. If they apply this weekend, we'll waive the application fee! We are glad to discuss our admissions criteria with you in greater detail, if you have questions.

Posted in Admissions