UNI admissions counselors offer recommendations in preparing for, selecting colleges

As the school year comes to an end, many from the class of 22’ have an idea as to what they’re going to do for the rest of their life, but some do not. 

Associate Director of UNI Admissions Dan Schofield said he suggests visiting several colleges in person so that students can meet people and get a feel for the campus environment. He also said to explore the websites in advance. “For any life decision, it’s important to do the research.  Once a decision is made, a student will be more likely to have made the correct match, and your satisfaction meter will be much higher than if a random decision is made,” he said.

Schofield said the biggest challenge for students is waiting too long to apply for admissions. “Sometimes they fill out the application incorrectly, or they omit certain questions on the application.  Sometimes there are inaccurate answers to questions such as the number of core courses taken in high school.  It may be helpful to have a trusted person review your application for admission before you submit it,” he said.

UNI representatives visit most high schools and college fairs in Iowa. Schofield said, “We strongly encourage prospective students to visit the UNI campus. They will learn a lot and see what opportunities are available here.”

Associate Director of Freshman Recruitment & Access Jesús Estrada said the best way to describe a UNI student that sticks out to admissions is a student who has the mentality of paying it forward. “Our students ensure to give back and help others in the process. These are students who are caring individuals that thrive on assisting others. They are students who use their talents and leadership abilities to make the world a better place,” he said. 

Estrada said that UNI uses the Regents Admission Index (RAI). Students who achieve a score of 245 and meet the core course requirements are automatically admitted. The RAI consists of the high school GPA, ACT/SAT score and core courses. Students who prefer to go the test-optional admissions route should strive for a high school GPA of 3.0 and higher.

 Schofield said other factors that are considered are patterns of work. “For example, are grades improving throughout high school, or are they declining? We would guide them to take challenging high school courses—courses that will help prepare them well for college-level courses,” he said.

Estrada said if given the opportunity to take college courses or AP courses, to do so. He also said to make sure students contact the university/college that they are interested in attending so they can provide information on how those courses transfer and make course recommendations. “I also advise students to start shadowing careers that spark interest,” Estrada said.

UNI offers two options to apply, with or without ACT/SAT scores. More information can be found here: https://admissions.uni.edu/how-apply/freshmen.

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