‘Not fair’: VCU students react to new guaranteed admissions policy

Some VCU students react after announcing a new guaranteed admissions program.
Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 11:22 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Some VCU students react after announcing a new guaranteed admissions program.

The school will now automatically accept all first-year freshman applicants who are among the top 10% of their high school graduating class or have a high school GPA of 3.5 or above.

To participate in the pilot program, a graduating high school student will apply through the Common App and submit their high school transcript. No additional paperwork is necessary to be considered for the program.

VCU rolled out the initiative, hoping to bolster admissions and bring in the cream of the crop.

However, some students say they’re upset and worried it will impact housing and the overall VCU experience.

“I think it does exclude a lot of groups of people and limits diversity because you’re only looking for one specific type of student,” Freshman Kendall McKay said.

Some students say it is not a very equitable approach, especially for underprivileged students.

“It’s just not fair to them to have just their GPA be the thing that determines their future,” Freshman Sidnie Duncan said. “They can’t pay for tutors, they can’t pay to stay after school because they have to work a job, and they’re focused on other things.”

This program is expected to drive an increase in admissions, which raises another concern: housing.

“I was very shocked,” Duncan said. “We’ve already accepted way too many students than we can fit.”

“Right now, we are packed for housing, and a lot of the students here live in lounges, the TV rooms, and there are four people to a room,” McKay said. “I was confused when they’re accepting all these new freshmen. Where are they going to live?”

A VCU spokesperson told our news partners at Virginia Mercury: “Short term, we are working across the university to anticipate and address housing needs, including how we allocate residence hall space.”

The students who spoke with NBC12 reporters didn’t seem optimistic.

“VCU kind of doesn’t tell you until the last second, and they accepted all these new students, and some people are actually living in a hotel down the street.”

NBC12 reached out to VCU for an interview but did not respond.

Other Virginia schools like George Mason and Radford are moving forward with similar policies.