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How Admissions at the University of Utah Really Work

By University of Utah President Taylor Randall:

December is crunch time for admissions at the University of Utah.

Once the Dec. 1 early action deadline passes, some 50 application readers — full-time staff and “seasonal” workers — have approximately five weeks to review and process thousands of applications in time to get prospective first-year students’ acceptance letters in the mail by Jan. 15.

It’s intense.

It’s also nothing like what you may think after reading coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. The court’s ruling questioned 40 years of higher education leaders’ efforts to make America’s college campuses look more like the communities around them. But at Utah’s flagship university, perception is not reality.

At the University of Utah, we do not consider race or ethnicity in admissions. We do, however, actively work with high schools, community-based organizations and other civic groups to attract historically underrepresented domestic minority groups. Through this outreach we have been able to create an environment where exceptional students from differing cultures, geographies, ages, faith traditions, viewpoints and experiences feel welcome and thrive.

How do we do that without checked boxes and quotas? Admissions director John Marfield will tell you it’s both art and science.

“We select students we think will succeed in a rigorous academic environment,” he says. “Our applicant pool is competitive. If our applicant pool wasn’t really strong, we wouldn’t admit as many students.”

Read the rest of the article in DeseretNews.