On Oct. 10, the Editorial Board published an editorial to the effect that the new application fee signified a further diversion from the University’s original mission (laid down by the man himself, Anthony J. Drexel) to be an affordable school for the working class. The fee was intended to help pay for application processing, and to discourage an excessive number of applicants.
The results are in, and, surprise surprise, 50 percent fewer students applied due to this added fee. This meant that, of the students who applied, 80 percent were accepted. These students are presumably more serious about attending Drexel, and are more likely to remain past sophomore year and graduate.
In fact, far from making Drexel more exclusive, the application fee has actually proven to have made the University significantly more inclusive to those serious about attending.
The exclusivity provided by excess applicants for a tiny number of slots looks great in the U.S. News and World Report, but it also causes excessive overhead for the Admissions department, and results in good students that really want to attend being passed up for superhuman academic messiahs with 6.0 GPAs (thanks, AP classes!) who are only applying to Drexel as their safe school in case Harvard University’s affirmative action algorithm throws a curveball and rejects them.
Furthermore, it results in an excess of mediocre applications from people who only applied because it was free and they didn’t need to throw anymore information into the Common Application.
Though we still believe that the cost of attending Drexel is not in line with the University’s original mission in any way, shape, or form, the Editorial Board applauds this decision to include more applicants who are really serious about attending Drexel. Though it may put us down a few notches in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, fewer applications and higher acceptance rates amongst those applicants will make Drexel more inclusive and allow our student body to excel academically and professionally.
One of the good things about Drexel is its ability to think five, 10 and 50 years in the future. They are not trying to accept students; they want to accept alumni. The administration wants every student to stay with the University throughout their college education. The retention rate is an important part of any university and Drexel is trying to take the steps to assure that we are happy with our choice of education, now and in the future.