UNA Student Senate approves alternative admission

During its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 3, the Student Senate approved an alternative admission policy for undergraduate students. The policy explains that due to “extenuating academic, social, cultural, or legal circumstances,” many students who apply to UNA could utilize an alternative way of admission.

If a student who does not meet the university’s admission requirements and is denied admission, they may appeal their denial through this new policy. For a student who wishes to be granted alternative admission, an appeal in writing may be filed on the student’s behalf by a university official to the director of admissions. For student athletes, the appeal must be supported and approved by the director of athletics.

The student must submit their entire file, any supporting documentation provided by the university official, including a statement of rationale for appeal. They also must send a plan for academic support during the student’s time at UNA written by the university official, including a statement from the student.

All of these materials will be reviewed by the Admission Review Committee. The director of admissions chairs the committee and it has five other members approved by the provost, including at least two UNA employees.

This committee may either approve or deny the student’s admission.

The committee’s recommendation will then be submitted to the chief enrollment officer who will forward it to the provost along with a recommendation on whether to admit or deny the student. The final decision on the student’s admission is left to the provost.

SGA President Samuel Mashburn explained during the Student Senate meeting that around 1,000 to 1,200 students get admitted as freshman annually. This new policy states that “the total number of students admitted via the Alternative Admission process may not exceed two-percent of the total number of students admitted to the University in any given year.”

This process is open not only to freshman applicants but also transfer students.

During the senate meeting, Senator Carson Brite suggested that the new policy be reviewed every two years.

“It is a new policy and we don’t know how it’ll work” Brite said.

Like all things, it takes time for a university to fully grow accustomed to—and work out any issues with—new programs. This suggestion will ensure that the policy is utilized to the best of its abilities and can be put to use by students in a productive way.

UNA will be the fourth university in the state of Alabama to provide a process like this. Troy, JSU and USA have implemented similar policies successfully and UNA is following in their footsteps.