Playing the numbers game

GVL/Luke Holmes

GVL/Luke Holmes

Many high school seniors go through the long process of filling out college applications while struggling against senioritis and preparing for their impending graduation.

Thousands of these students sent their applications to Grand Valley State University for the 2015-2016 school year.

Jodi Chycinski, director of admissions, said the GVSU Admissions Office received 19,331 applications from “first-time freshmen.” Though 13,800 of them received acceptance letters, only 4,155 students decided to enroll.

Put another way, this means that about 6,000 students were rejected, while another 9,000 accepted students chose not to enroll at GVSU.

Once students receive word from prospective colleges, they can make their decision and sign up for orientation, which at GVSU needs to happen by May 1. Chycinski said if too many students register by that date than expected, they would stop taking orientation reservations.

“We accept all those that we feel meet our standards,” she said. “We know what our typical yield is from year to year, which allows us to estimate the size of the freshman class.”

GVSU admissions counselors examine applications based on a variety of factors.

“We review each applicant and look at all of the credentials that they bring forward in their application for admissions,” Chycinski said. “At Grand Valley, we are looking for students who are prepared to meet the challenges of a rigorous university curriculum.”

Potential students are also reviewed based on criteria that include completion of high school courses, overall GPA, ACT scores and class ranking. For example, Chycinski said the middle 50 percent of admitted students had between a 3.3 and 3.8 GPA, paired with ACT scores between 21 and 26.

“A single deficiency in an academic area will not necessarily mean a student is refused admission,” Chycinski said. “However, students who are missing a number of courses are at a disadvantage.”

She said the university has plans to accommodate the growing enrollment. New buildings, new housing, an addition to the recreation center and updated food options will be available on campus starting next summer. Chycinski added that these will “continue to allow us to meet the academic and residential needs of our students.”