To apply or not to apply: who got accepted to the IU-I Honors College?

So you were just admitted to Indiana University-Indianapolis, but you still do not know how you are going to afford tuition and fees. You have heard of the Honors College, but you bombed the SAT and doubt you will get accepted.

It probably is not even worth filling out the scholarship application.

Perhaps it might be after all.

Who Got Accepted?

According to public records obtained by The Collegiate Commons, In 2021, 89.1 percent of applicants were accepted into the Honors College.

That means 89.1 percent of the 348 applicants that year got at least an $8,000 per year scholarship, or $19,000 per year if they are from out-of-state.

The average SAT score of freshmen admitted to IUPUI is 1135. On average, freshmen admitted to IUPUI have a 3.49 GPA.

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If you were able to get about 55 points higher on the SAT, then you were almost guaranteed entrance with only 13.76 percent of students not receiving an offer to join.

It is not entirely clear what the “No GPA reported” category means, as GPA must usually be reported to apply to IUPUI and to the Honors College. The Collegiate Commons reached out to the Honors College for comment.

“We definitely review students’ GPAs for Honors College admissions, but that information doesn’t necessarily get recorded into the Student Information System,” said Lisa Ruch, assistant dean of academic affairs in the Honors College.

The records also showed that, when it came to admissions to the Honors College, going test-optional was not the optimal route, as the admission rate was significantly lower for those students than any other group.

Of course, this could be a result of less effort overall taken to craft a good application, or it is possible that more students in this group did not have a higher GPA that could balance out their lack of an SAT score.

Holistic Applications

These applications are holistic, so it is important for students to write a good admissions essay and to think of extracurriculars to put on their resume. It seems that for many students, this part of the application ensured that the Honors College overlooked lower test scores and GPAs.

“It’s definitely important for our students to be involved in high school, especially for the students interviewing for the Bepko, Presidential, or Plater scholarships because talking about their involvement is a big part of the interviews that we do when selecting those scholarship recipients,” said Ruch.  “We’re looking for students who excel in academics but also contribute to their school and community through leadership and service.  Past behavior is usually a good predictor of future behavior (usually, not always), and we want our students to be involved on campus and in the community once they get here.”

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With that, no score or GPA is a guarantee of anything, and the high acceptance rate of Honors College applicants may just be because applicants were disproportionately involved in high school.

However, all incoming freshmen would do well to take time to fill out an application to the Honors College, whether they think they will be accepted or not. The $8,000 per year can be life-changing for a college student, and it is well worth the risk of wasting a few hours on an application.

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