Admissions Committee

Chair/Co-chairs: Tracy Schroepfer 

Fall 2021 Committee Members: Committee or Group: Russ Portier, Steph Van Pay, Emmy Roper, Courtney Bingham, Anna-Marie Heins, Peter Doksus  

2021-22 (December) Report Out 

#1 Increase the diversity of our students, staff, faculty, and other governing bodies is a priority for our committee. 

Objective(s): Increase the acceptance numbers of applicants of color and those identifying as male and gender non-conforming by determining and addressing barriers that current admissions policies and processes may present. 

Current & Future Action Steps/Timeframes: 

  • Focus on revising our admissions application process so that it is equitable for all who apply. Last admissions cycle we instituted a new essay and made changes to our questions for the personal statement. We studied the data from that cycle and the focus groups we held with reviewers and have made revisions to the essay and statement for the current admissions cycle.  
  • When all PTP & FTP admissions are completed in July, we will again review the data and hold focus groups with our reviewers to determine if further changes are necessary. 

Strategic Plan Progress Report Out April 2021

Committee Name: Admissions Committee

Committee Members: Tracy Schroepfer, Michelle Helmer, Katie Larsen-Klodd, Steph Van Pay, Mackenzie Otterson, Cindy Waldeck, Alison Meier, Amanda Zuehlke, Tom Wirth, Patricia Egan, Annette Copa, Brenda Heideman, Amanda Ngola, Jake Shuldies, Stefanie Primm, Sarah Valencia, Josh Lapin, Lucas Moore, Jessica Pac, Yoona Kim, Evelyn Coker & Michael Hoffmeister.

Strategic Plan Goal: Increase the diversity of our students, (staff, faculty, and other governing bodies.)

Objective: Increase the acceptance numbers of applicants of color and those identifying as male and gender non-conforming by determining and addressing barriers that current admissions policies and processes may present.

Progress on goal since February 2021

  1. Full-Time Program Admissions

The Admissions Committee has completed our Full-Time Program Admissions cycle, and we are still in the midst of the Part-Time Program Cycle. Applications for Part-Time MSW Generalists are due May 1st.

A comparison of Full-Time Program data for the Fall 2020 and Fall 2021 admissions cycles reveals positive trends with regard to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) applicants. The number of BIPOC individuals applying to the Program increased by 22%, admission offers by 46%, and number enrolling by 28%. Overall, the percentage of the incoming class identifying as BIPOC increased by 3.77 resulting in BIPOC students comprising 27.5% of the Fall 2021 incoming class.

When the data from the Fall 2018 Admissions cycle are compared to the Fall 2021 cycle, positive trends are also evident. The number of BIPOC applicants increased by 32.6%, admission offers by 75.9%, and a 220% increase in BIPOC students accepting an offer of admission. Finally, from 2018 to 2021 an 82.2% increase took place in BIPOC students accepting the offer.

Our admissions goals were further supported by the Admissions Chair and Awards Chair. The Admissions Committee awarded the Ozawa, Clarke, and Topitzes Scholarships to 8 BIPOC applicant and 1 white first generation college student applicant. The Awards Committee awarded Rosenbaum Scholarships to three BIPOC students. The result of these awards is that 34% of incoming BIPOC students in the Full-Time MSW program are receiving funding.

Full-Time MSW Fall 2018 Fall 2019 Fall 2020 Fall 2021 % Change 2020 – 21 % Change 2018-21
All Applicants 237 255 229 234 +2.18% -1.26%
Applicants Admitted 158 175 172 179 +4% +13.29%
Applicants Accepted Offer* 77 87 94 116^ +23.4% +50.6%
BIPOC Applicants* 49 66 53 65 +16% +73%
BIPOC Admitted* 29 48 35 51 +46% +75.9%
BIPOC Accepted Offer* 10 24 25 32 +28% +220%

*5 students received deferrals from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021 including 2 BIPOC students. The deferrals are included in the initial applicants, and admitted applicants in Fall 2020, but moved over to Fall 2021 for “Accepted offer” rows.

^Based on data from past years, this number is likely to decrease as applicants who confirmed decide to withdraw prior to enrolling for Fall 2021.

  1. Changes to MSW Application

The Admissions Committee Addressed the major changes to our application for the Fall 2021 application cycle by holding Focus groups and a Qualtrics survey of the 18 Application Reviewers. 11 members attended 1 of 2 focus group sessions, and 7 additional reviewers completed a Qualtrics Survey. The focus groups discussed all aspects of the application process, and specifically addressed our changes around questions addressing diversity. Reviewers provided suggestions that the Admissions Committee intends to implement in advance of the Summer and Fall 2022 application cycle.

Chair: Tracy Schroepfer 

We did revise the objective since we do not consider men to be an oppressed group. Our new objective is: Increase the acceptance numbers of applicants of color and gender non-confirming by determining and addressing barriers that current admissions policies and processes may present. 

Full-Time Program update:  

A comparison of Full-Time Program (FTP) data for the Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 admissions cycles reveals positive trends regarding Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) applicants. BIPOC applicants applying to the FTP, as a percent of overall FTP applications, increased by 10.9% and the number enrolling by 15%. When the FTP Admissions cycle data from the last 3 years is averaged (2019-2021) and compared to the Fall 2022 cycle, positive trends are also evident. The number of BIPOC applicants increased by 26.3% and the number enrolling by 11.3%.  

Since implementing our DEI goals in 2020, the BIPOC FTP applicants applying, as a percent of overall FTP applications, increased by 49.8% and the number enrolling by 13.8% when comparing the Fall 2020 and Fall 2022 cycles. 

The overall number of 2022 FTP applications were down by 19.8% compared to 2021.  

Please note that those FTP applicants that were not accepted includes both those who were denied by score and those we did not have room in the program to accept.  

Full-Time MSW Fall 2021 Fall 2022 % Change 2020 – 21 % Change 2020-2022 3 Years Avg (2019-2021) 2022 vs 3 Yr Avg
Applicants Reviewed 232 186 -19.8% -6.5% 222 -16.2%
Applicants Accepted 186 108 -41.9% -34.9% 176 -38.6%
Applicants Enrolled 101 54 -46.5% -43.8% 95 -43.4%
BIPOC Applicants Reviewed 63 56 -11.1% 40.0% 53 5.0%
BIPOC Accepted 52 26 -50.0% -25.7% 45 -42.6%
BIPOC Enrolled 26 16 -38.5% -36.0% 25 -36.8%
BIPOC Apps Review as Percent of Total 27.2% 30.1% 10.9% 49.8% 23.8% 26.3%
BIPOC Apps Accepted as Percent of Total 28.0% 24.1% -13.9% 14.2% 25.6% -6.1%
BIPOC Enrolled as Percent of Total 25.7% 29.6% 15.1% 13.8% 26.6% 11.3%

Part-Time Program update:  

The overall number of 2022 Part-Time Program (PTP) applications were down by 40.9% compared to 2021. This was also naturally reflected in BIPOC applicants’ data. BIPOC applicants applying to the PTP, as a percent of overall PTP applications, decreased by 24.8% and the number enrolling by 58.3% when comparing the Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 cycles. When the PTP Admissions cycle data from the last 3 years is averaged (2019-2021) and compared to the Fall 2022 cycle, the numbers begin to trend in the right direction. The number of BIPOC applicants decreased by 1.8% and the number enrolling by 47.6%.  

Since implementing our DEI goals in 2020, the BIPOC applicants applying to the PTP, as a percent of overall PTP applications, increased by 23.1% and the number enrolling decreased by 42.3% when comparing the Fall 2020 and Fall 2022 cycles.  

Please note that the PTP applicants that were not accepted were denied based on their score only as the PTP had room to take more applicants than we received. 

Full-Time MSW Fall 2021 Fall 2022 % Change 2020 – 21 % Change 2020-2022 3 Years Avg (2019-2021) 2022 vs 3 Yr Avg
Applicants Reviewed 66 39 -40.9% -27.8% 61 -36.4%
Applicants Accepted 64 33 -48.4% -28.3% 56 -40.7%
Applicants Enrolled 47 26 -44.7% -35.0% 42 -37.6%
BIPOC Applicants Reviewed 18 8 -55.6% -11.1% 13 -38.5%
BIPOC Accepted 18 4 -77.8% -50.0% 12 -65.7%
BIPOC Enrolled 13 3 -76.9% -62.5% 9 -67.9%
BIPOC Apps Review as Percent of Total 27.3% 20.5% -24.8% 23.1% 20.9% -1.8%
BIPOC Apps Accepted as Percent of Total 28.1% 12.1% -56.9% -30.3% 20.4% -40.7%
BIPOC Enrolled as Percent of Total 26.7% 11.5% -58.3% -42.3% 22.0% -47.6%

Gender non-confirming goal update:  

The Graduate School currently reports only binary gender-identity information to schools or departments, even though they have added a gender identity area on the application. This makes it very difficult to assess our goal of accepting an increasing number of gender non-confirming students. Applicants may self-report when answering the self-reflection and analytic essays; however, this information continues to prove a challenging to track.

Due to several variables including the continued pandemic, a reduction of 20% application submissions, lack of field placements, overall space in the MSW program, lack of MSW AOF funding, etc. we don’t think that the 2022 numbers are truly indicative of the progress we’ve been making. The Admissions Committee has continued to make changes to our application by holding focus groups and a Qualtrics survey of the Application Reviewers. The focus groups discussed all aspects of the application process, and specifically addressed our changes around questions addressing diversity. Reviewers provided suggestions that the Admissions Committee implemented for upcoming 2023 application cycle.