NAU provides too big of a shoulder to lean on for slackers
By Maria DiCosola
Making mistakes is a part of life. Everyone messes up, but all mistakes have consequences. This simple principle of responsibility seems to have escaped the consideration of NAU’s admission’s board. Because no matter how badly you screwed up in high school – or even your freshman year – NAU will welcome you to their glorified community college with open arms.
Their policy could basically be summed up to “Do you have a pulse and money? Then come on in.”
To be offered admission to NAU, an incoming freshman must have a 3.0 GPA and no deficiencies in their high school courses required by the state. However, students will still be considered for admission if they have a 2.5 GPA and no more than one deficiency in a high school class requirement. Despite what your high school probably told you, SAT/ACT scores are NOT a requirement for admission. They are only needed if you are interested in scholarships.
However, while these requirements seem straightforward, there are many loopholes to the system. For example, if a student does poorly in high school, they could just try to pass 12 credits at a community college and then get admitted based on those scores. Or, if a student does adequately in high school but fails their first semester at one college, they can apply as a freshman rather than a transfer student and use their high school GPA to give them a second chance at college life.
Often times, if you fail your first semester at NAU, all it takes is a paperwork process to get back in good standing with the university. If you earn below a 1.8 GPA your first semester, you are granted a second chance, with the stipulations that you can only take 13 credits the next semester and you must maintain a 2.0 for said term. Then, heaven forbid you fail those requirements, you are academically suspended.
But wait! These students get a third chance to redeem their college career. After being suspended, all they need to do is earn a 2.5 GPA in 12 credits from another university, and – here’s the kicker – turn their paperwork in on time. But, if they don’t feel like going through all of the strenuous work of passing classes, there is yet another loophole to get them back into school: withdraw from classes for a semester.
I am fully supportive of everyone having the opportunity to get an education, but NAU goes too far by salvaging these opportunities for lazy and irresponsible students.
While unmotivated students probably won’t amount to anything in the end, it is still flagrantly insulting to the students who work hard to earn their degree. If there are students getting a degree after failing three semesters, shouldn’t those students who pass college without any failed semesters get something more than a degree? Sure, there may be scholarships through the years and a shiny new job waiting for us at the end of the tunnel (if we’re lucky), but for all we know, these rewards could be sitting just as prettily for the students who walk across the stage gloating their 2.5 GPAs and beer bellies.
The bottom line is college is not meant to be a time for careless and immature mistakes such as failing classes. If students think it is perfectly fine to blow thousands of dollars out the window because they’re too busy partying, getting high or even playing video games, then it is clear that those students are not prepared for college, a job or even to move out of their parent’s house. NAU is enabling reckless behavior by granting these students near infinite chances to get a degree.
However, the university’s motive isn’t in the best interest of the student, it is purely thinking about the profit it makes off of the slackers. The students who fail are the students who are paying full tuition, paying extra fees to get their multiple chances, and most likely staying for much longer than four years. Additionally, now that Performance Based Funding has been put in place, nothing is more valuable to NAU than the diplomas they give out. As long as they can get their slacking students to graduate at some point or another, they make money off of them. So, while NAU does not bluntly encourage failing, they certainly don’t say no to it, because saying no to a student would be saying no to thousands of dollars.
To further increase everyone’s disappointment, NAU has one of the strictest admission requirements in the state. Universities’ interests to profit as a business have distracted them from the much nobler goal of producing better graduates and citizens.
Editor’s note: Maria DiCosola, Web Content Manager, wrote this editorial on behalf of the staff.