May 04, 2012 by Op-Ed
Coming to Drexel, I have experienced a number of things: amazing opportunities, friendly people and helpful instructors. But with all these good things comes a disadvantage — overcrowding. One of the prime reasons for this problem is Drexel University’s high acceptance rate. Lowering the acceptance rate will not only stabilize this problem but will also improve the reputation of our University.
Overcrowding has been a problem that affects every student on our campus, not just the noncommuters but commuters as well. But along with affecting students, it affects the reputation of our University. Drexel has the potential to become one of the best-ranked universities in our nation. We have a vigorous academic program, cutting-edge technology and some of the most intellectual professors in the nation. According to the 2012 U.S News & World Report, Drexel University has been named the 88th-best college in the nation. All of the aspects mentioned above lead to the high prestige of this University, but does that still hold true?
A need for money has led to the enrollment of seemingly anyone. The acceptance rate for fall 2011 was 56 percent. There are students who have achieved a variety of SAT scores. Some students are accepted based on an SAT score below 1600 while others achieve far beyond that number. Drexel University’s range of students is mindboggling. In comparison to a more academically celebrated university such as the University of Pennsylvania, whose acceptance rate is 12 percent with a specific SAT range of 2060-2330, standards at Drexel are dramatically lower. Although our academics may be as strong as theirs, we stand nowhere in comparison with them because of the makeup of our student body. If we increased our standards, we could be seen as a better university. Students accepted should have SAT scores and grade point averages that meet a higher standard. There are students in the same academic major who display completely opposite GPAs. One student exhibits a GPA of 2.5 whereas another student has a GPA of 3.8. Although both students are in the same program, it is obvious that one student understands and does better in the program. Why accept someone who cannot handle the intensity of the program?
Some may wonder why Drexel is putting the chance to better its reputation aside and accepting more students. The answer is money. The acceptance rate is increasing every year due to the lack of money in the University budget. With more students comes more tuition that can be used to aid the University’s budget. But how much of this money is actually used for learning purposes? Our dormitories are not big enough to house the amount of students entering each year. Because of this, much of the undergraduate tuition is used to build more buildings for housing. Instead of using this money to build more buildings in an already crowded campus, lowering the amount of students accepted and using that money to better the academic programs will benefit Drexel greatly.
If Drexel becomes a more selective school, along with the overcrowding issue, the reputation of being an “easy” school will diminish. Speaking from personal experience, many people believe Drexel accepts everyone and has a light academic program. However, it is anything but easy here at Drexel. The quarter system forces one to study on a daily basis and learn the objectives of the class at a faster rate than students at most universities. We have the vigor and resources needed to become a more selective university, but the need for money arises again.
All in all, becoming more selective will benefit Drexel in many ways. For one, the issues of overcrowding will no longer trouble us. Along with becoming a more comfortable learning environment, Drexel will be able to rise in the eyes of many prospective students. If only certain amounts of people who meet admissions requirements are accepted, we will come into standing as a top university.
Roshni Patel is a freshman majoring in psychology and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.