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Policy Number T96-034
Effective Date April 11, 1996
Responsible Office/Person Board of Trustees

DOC. T96-034

Passed by the BoT



The University of Massachusetts provides access to an outstanding university-level education at an affordable cost to citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The University is committed to high academic standards and to the continuous improvement of student quality and performance. Admission decisions for undergraduate students must be consistent with these objectives.

The December, 1995 initiative of the Higher Education Coordinating Council to raise admission standards is consistent with the University's ongoing efforts. However, the Council's standards do not encompass all the measures that are important in making admissions decisions. While meeting the Higher Education Coordinating Council's minimum standards, the University's campuses will:

  • admit students possessing the motivation, ability, and preparation to be successful at the University;
  • pursue and graduate a student body that reflects the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of the college-eligible population of the Commonwealth;
  • consider a broad range of factors to evaluate an applicant's readiness for university-level study, taking into account the applicant's total record in an individualized process. Applications for admission by traditional freshmen will primarily be based on high school grade point average, rank in class, and standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.), but will also take into account evidence of student growth and maturation over time, the nature of courses taken in high school, the academic rigor and reputation of the high school, recommendations, extracurricular activities, leadership and service, and special circumstances in a student's life.
  • employ different admissions criteria to accommodate students who follow different routes to college (e.g., traditional freshmen, older freshmen, transfer students, or students admitted through alternative admission programs or collaborative agreements with other institutions).
  • continue and expand, where needed, special programs in collaboration with elementary and secondary schools in the urban centers of the Commonwealth, as well as community colleges, to enhance the opportunities of underserved students to enter and succeed in college.

The goal of this admissions policy is to enroll students in the University who are capable of benefiting from the education provided. Efforts will be made to evaluate the success of students in each entering class in terms of persistence at the University (annual retention, graduation rates, and degree attainment), academic achievement (grade point averages, academic standing), satisfaction with the educational program and their own progress, and experiences subsequent to graduation (such as employment or further study). Information gleaned from such evaluations shall periodically be used to refine and revise the specific indices and standards used by campuses in undergraduate admission


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