At Alma College, students can rest assure that their admission into the college is a fair and equal process; a process that is built off the college’s mission of integrity and fairness.
In light of the 50 recent charges for using bribery to enroll unqualified students into college institutions, it is important to understand the admissions process and impact of these admissions scandals on other college campuses.
At Alma College, the admissions process not only set up to embody the qualities of fairness but created so the privilege of families does not play a role. A student’s socioeconomic status is not taken into consideration.
“We do need-blind admissions, and we do not consider your families need to fund it at all. We are need-blind, which is important as to who we are as an institution,” said Amanda Slenski, Alma College’s Vice President of Admissions.
Being a need-blind institution allows students applying to know that their family’s economic status has no impact on their experience.
Their acceptance into Alma is solely based off of their submitted transcript along with their test scores and essays from their SAT or ACT.
“We already don’t have an application fee to remove that barrier for students to have more choices,” said Charles Cotton, Alma College’s Senior Director of Admissions.
Students do not have to worry about the financial costs of applying. If they wish to apply and can provide the needed documents, anyone is welcome to attend Alma.
Alma takes pride in their transparency when it comes to being open and upfront with all students–enrolled and applying.
“We are committed to students coming to Alma no matter their financial ability. We very much want to ensure that all students attend Alma,” said Jeff Abernathy, Alma College’s President.
On top of this, Alma also takes pride in building close-knit relationships with every student and family. The admissions process is centered around trust between the student applying and Admissions.
“We value the relationship of the student, and we put trust in the student that what they put on the application is truthful. The trust would be violated in an institution that allowed [bribery or cheating] to happen,” said Slenski.
Allowing misconduct in the admissions process and giving students access to things they may not have the credentials for would not only reflect poorly on admissions but on the institute as a whole.
The credibility would be put to question, which is why Alma stresses transparency within the admissions process.
“I think that transparency is very important because Admissions are often seen as gatekeepers because it seems as though [Admissions] is seen as some sort of barrier to entry, but I hope we are able to be more transparent and that our goal is to just see if our values align with your values,” said Cotton.
Alma College is currently in the process of discussing other options for the admissions process, such as going test optional and allowing students to apply through a nontraditional way. This would allow Alma to broaden its application form and welcome more future students to the campus.
However, setting the application process aside, it is all about finding the right fit for students. A student’s admission to a college should not only be based on the student’s credentials and interest to attend the school but the student’s values as well.
The student’s values need to be aligned with the Institution’s values in order for the student to grow and enjoy their experience at college.
Bribing a student’s way into a college would only hinder them from success and possibly put them in a situation where they may be over their heads. It is crucial for the student to build a strong relationship with the college they choose to be enrolled in.
“Relationship is so critical because then you become a student and an alum. Once you pick your college, you are connected for a life time. There is a lot of emotion and connection put into that decision, and it is one that needs to be respected,” said Slenski.