MU tightens its admission policy

John Heiderscheidt

Just in case applying for college is not stressful enough for potential incoming freshman, those applying to Marquette will have even more to worry about this fall.

Due to the abundance of students admitted in the fall semester of 2003, 1,887 in all, according to Robert Blust, dean of undergraduate admissions, the university is planning to be more selective in its application process.

There will be no change in the process of reviewing applications, however Blust said all admissions credentials will now be viewed with a more stringent eye.

“We are going to continue to look at the strength of the academic programs students come from,” Blust said. “That entails the strength of classes students are coming from, their grades in those classes and test scores.”

Blust named some of the other credentials the Office of Admissions will be looking for.

“A big thing we are going to look at is leadership in service,” Blust said. “And of course we always look at the intangibles, too. That is to say their essays, their letters of recommendation, etc. … But the goal is to lower the total number of students accepted to somewhere in the mid-1,700s.”

James McMahon, dean of Residence Life, said he was confident there will be no need for unusual housing measures. In the past, these measures included the addition of two residence halls and offering free meal plans to upperclassman should they agree to move out of residence halls to off-campus housing.

“I want to be very clear, that was a one time offer,” McMahon said of the meal plans. “We will not be buying out what students sign up for this year.”

Residence Life has made plans to accommodate 1,800 new freshman and 225 transfer students. These plans include converting large double rooms in Mashuda Hall into triples, housing some new students in Cobeen Hall doubles currently occupied by resident assistants and remodeling storage rooms in Cobeen to create even more space, according to McMahon.

McMahon also said the tasks are scheduled to be completed over the summer and are not expected to take a large amount of time.

A smaller freshman class may also lead to students receiving more personal attention from teachers. Chair of Broadcast and Electronic Communications Kenneth Ksobiech sees where teachers and students could benefit from a more selective process.

“If I have a class with 125 students or 150 students it’s not going to change the techniques and pedagogy of teaching I use,” Ksobiech said. “But if you can narrow a class of 18 students down to 13 students it gives faculty members a chance to grade better and give more one-on-one time.”

The decision to be more selective in the university’s application process comes on the heels of the 2003 fall semester when Marquette had to close doors to applicants for the first time in university history.

Blust attributed the number of applications to several factors, including incoming freshman interest in the layout of Marquette’s campus, some of the academic changes the university has made to its core curriculum and the overall level of excitement on campus.