College of Business will ease GPA requirements

By Markos Moulitsas

NIU’s College of Business will lower its entrance requirements next semester in order to fight declining enrollment at the college.

Starting next spring semester, acceptance to the College of Business will require a GPA of 2.5 for NIU students, down from the current 2.6. Transfer students will require a 2.8 GPA, down from 2.95.

Business calculates this GPA from a set of six courses all pre-business majors are required to take. A student’s cumulative GPA is not taken under consideration unless a student’s application to the college is rejected and the student appeals the decision, said Wayne Albrecht, assistant dean for undergraduate studies at the College of Business.

Albrecht said the reduced GPA requirement is related to a decrease in enrollment at the university and decreased interest in business programs at NIU and nationwide.

“The main reason for the drop is that there isn’t the demand we once had,” he said.

“When I became assistant dean we were accepting only one out of every two students. That drove the GPA requirements very high,” Albrecht said. “Now we’re admitting in the neighborhood of 68 percent of all applicants.”

Enrollment at the College of Business has been steadily decreasing in the last five years. According to data from NIU’s Office of Institutional Research, enrollment at the college dropped from 5,535 students in 1988 to 4,218 students in 1992.

The two departments at the college with limited admissions programs, accounting and finance, will be unaffected by the move. However, Albrecht said the GPA requirements for the finance department were being looked at.

“The requirements were in place since finance had a disproportionately large amount of the College of Business’ majors,” he said, but he added that this is no longer the case.

“I would hope that we might look at it and see if there is a need to continue it,” Albrecht said.

All other departments at the College of Business are open to students already accepted to the college.

Some students were displeased at the college’s easing of its entrance requirements.

“I transferred in last year, and I think it’s kind of unfair because some years the requirements are higher than others,” said Lori Sadler, senior marketing major.

Bryan Zambrano, a senior OMIS major, said, “I don’t think that’s too cool. It makes the school a little weaker.”

Albrecht said the reduced requirements would not weaken the college.

“It’s pretty competitive anyway,” he said. “In the past, we’ve denied admission to students who would have been good students and good alumni.”

Albrecht said the students coming in were still good and had good work ethics.

“I don’t think the quality will drop all that much. We don’t expect the professors to grade any easier,” he said.

GPA requirements for NIU students at the college have been in the past as high as 2.75 and as low as 2.3.