Admission standards, diversity low at Cabrini

By Staff Writer
November 21, 2002

The admission standards of Cabrini College are simple: an incoming student must have a 3.0 grade point average, have an average of 1000 on the SATs and letters of recommendation. An entrance essay is not mandatory but it is welcomed. This no-essay-required policy may be replaced by sending in a graded paper from high school to take place of the college essay that many other institutions require. This idea has not yet been made official.

The buzz among students has been that Cabrini is not all that selective in their process of choosing who is admitted based on the fact that an essay is not included in the application package. Some quietly say that it is strange to see so little diversity in a township that is part of a metropolitan area.

Charlie Spencer, assistant director of admissions, said, “We visit schools in Philadelphia, have gone down to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. That is where I met Angelle Penn. We are doing less Pennsylvania-based traveling.”

Cabrini has branched out to reach potential students in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, the Midwest and the West Coast.

In reference to the tracking down of future student’s grades, Spencer said, “We find the students through the information that students have permitted us to see from their standardized tests. We like to monitor the student’s progress in their senior year and we try to offer them the program that best suits them according to their interests or activities.”

First-year student Alexis Figueras said, “I think Cabrini has low admissions standards. There was no essay involved as most colleges do. I know someone who had an SAT score of around 600. I know SATs are not supposed to matter but for some colleges it’s a big deal. Cabrini offered me a scholarship before they knew my grades.”

Gary Johnson, dean of enrollment services, said, “I do not know if adding an essay would add to the higher admissions criteria in the application package.”

“The question is whether the more ‘prestigious’ schools that require the essays utilize it as part of their assessment of the potential student. Does it really count in the student’s evaluation? A high school student can hand in a really polished piece of work and you wonder if that student really wrote that work themselves. Is it a true measure? We might start asking in our packages for students to send us a graded paper from high school.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association does not allow the preferential treatment of athletes through aid grants.

The pursuit of a diversity of students of racial, economic and religious backgrounds within the Cabrini community is an issue that the admissions staff has tackled but there is no way you can force someone to stay. Johnson said, “You have to be genuine in your commitment. The administration and the community have to communicate back and forth. We will not understand what is going on unless we are told what we should improve and change. I believe that the Cabrini community itself has a good communication. With the ‘education of the heart’ and the emphasis on community service, it draws students together and it gives us the opportunity to make changes little by little.”

The education, campus aesthetics and size of Cabrini have attracted some far-away students. Pierre Archambault, a sophomore student ambassador and a native of Colorado, said, “My brother found out about the school through lacrosse camp. The thing that I tell the people that I give tours to is that for a small school Cabrini gives you big advantages. You cannot expect for something to happen, you have to get yourself known. Your face is known; your teachers can actually talk to you and care about you. They want to see you in class. You get a better education in small schools. For myself to be so far away from home, I would rather be in a small school and get the attention that I feel I need.”

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