On Tuesday, Nov.15, officials from the University of Redlands and Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that guarantees admission to all RUSD graduates applying to the U of R. The only qualifications needed from RUSD seniors, starting with the 2017 class, are to pass their minimum course requirements and meet appropriate SAT/ACT scores. Specifically, students must meet a composite ACT score of 21 or a minimum SAT score of 560 on the Evidence Based Reading/Writing section with a minimum SAT score of 530 on the Math section. After meeting these qualifications, students will be granted admission to the U of R to join the Bulldog family.
The transition between high school and college is quite nerve-wracking for a multitude of high school seniors, especially during the application process. These students will be guaranteed a minimum scholarship of $10,000 towards their tuition. The University of Redlands also plans to assist RUSD students by providing campus visits and summer workshops that will guide them through admissions, financial aid and the essay writing process. Kate Pearne, the principal of Redlands High School, shared that she, herself, is an alumni of the U of R and is “absolutely thrilled” about these exciting opportunities being offered to RUSD students.
“We’ve known we wanted to partner with RUSD on a guaranteed admission pathway since the summer and have worked towards this moment,” said Kevin Dyerly, vice president for enrollment at the University of Redlands.
This agreement is just one of three prominent memorandums established by the University of Redlands in guaranteeing admission to a particular set of high school students. The U of R signed two preceding agreements with the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District (YCJUSD) and the Chaffey Joint Union High School District (CJUHSD), respectively during September and October.
“Sometimes students and families in our own backyard may not realize a University of Redlands education can be attainable and affordable. We believe this partnership will help dispel some of those myths,” Dyerly said.
Some U of R and high school students are concerned that these memorandums could subsequently affect current and prospective students by leading to less intimate class sizes, a larger student population and a deterioration of ease in class registration.
Brad Camp, an Orangewood High School counselor, asked, “Is [the agreement] really feasible? How is the university going to absorb all people applying from these districts?” Students have also raised concern for a potential decrease in acceptance for applicants that aren’t included in these partnerships.
Dyerly explained that this agreement “doesn’t negatively impact our planning or expectations of enrollment or class size in the coming years.”
Many officials from the University of Redlands and RUSD are very enthusiastic about this new, inclusive initiative. Camp stated that this memorandum is a “great opportunity for students who wouldn’t have initially thought of going to the University of Redlands and could encourage students that were looking at Cal States to consider the university located in their hometown.”
This memorandum will provide more opportunities to students in the local Redlands community. “The U of R and Redlands Unified School District are two of the oldest and strongest institutions in our community,” Dyerly said. “We’ve long had a history and partnership between the two organizations, but this guaranteed admissions agreement will hopefully strengthen the ties in the coming years and encourage more RUSD graduates to consider becoming Bulldogs for Life.”