Resolution to Adjust Admissions Criteria for Summer Session 2020 and the 2020-21 Academic Year


WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has colleges and universities across the nation changing and evolving their processes and operations; and


WHEREAS, Winthrop University's Office of Admissions has implemented a number of new virtual initiatives to ensure consistent communication with prospective students while the campus is currently closed; and


WHEREAS, Admissions staff members have created "How-To" videos to help prospective students navigate the Wingspan portal in order to view and accept their financial aid offer, submit their deposit, sign up for Orientation and complete their residence life forms to live on campus; and


WHEREAS, Staff members also are working on web pages dedicated to admitted students that will serve as a "one-stop shop" for updated information on deadlines/due dates, Orientation plans, Virtual Day log-ins, including videos from current students and opportunities for prospective students to virtually meet members of our Winthrop family; and


WHEREAS, Winthrop Admission staff are excelling in providing alternative options and varied means to ease the application process for prospective students; and


WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on SAT and ACT testing opportunities and the closure of public and private high schools have limited the ability of prospective students to complete all admissions requirements in the required timeframe; and


WHEREAS, Winthrop associate professor Dr. Zach Abernathy’s research reveals strong support of high school GPA as a predictor of student success as multiple linear regressions isolated individual variable’s contribution to the variance in cumulative Winthrop GPA and graduation likelihood. Results of the study indicate that high school GPA rather than standardized test scores clearly correlate the strongest with cumulative Winthrop GPA and graduation;  and


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, due to difficulties students are experiencing in completing standardized testing, the Winthrop Board of Trustees directs the suspension of the university’s requirement that applicants for Summer Session 2020 and Academic Year 2020-21 must provide standardized test results to be considered for admission; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the remaining admissions criteria used to ensure a high-caliber, high-achieving student body at Winthrop University will remain in place, subject to any future State of South Carolina directives, and prospective students will be evaluated with the same amount of due diligence that has served over time to uphold the University’s academic standards.


Approved this day of April 6, 2020