Concerning the Absurd Requirements of Universities


From ASU

ASU’s Downtown Phoenix Campus

Universities across the United States follow a trend of maintaining multiple requirements for student admission, undergraduate or otherwise. Most of these requirements are merit based, in consideration of a high school education or GED, yet some of the first year requirements for universities are convoluted and absurd in their purpose. 


I’m moving into Arizona State University in the fall of 2021 to study journalism and develop honors credentials; the merit requirements from high school, regarding GPA and test scores, were never of concern and were fair, especially in comparison to other universities across the country. ASU under Michael Crow is celebrated for its inclusiveness, and the leniency towards [most] of the degree program requirements are appropriately reflective. 


This being said, after admission I found myself struggling to understand some of the ‘necessities’ that came with attending the university. 


I found it absurd that they’re forcing me to live on campus my first two years (normally one, but my measure was bumped to two years due to being a part of the Barrett college,) even though I have no issue with it. I still find it absurd that I need to choose a relatively expensive meal plan, if only for my first year; I intended on buying all of my own food, the convenience of the plan aside. 


For me, all of these bizarre, expensive requirements are indicative of the looming presence of the business-oriented side of universities nationwide. It’s sad, but true; there’s no shying away from it. There’s a guise of ‘convenience’ placed on these ‘necessary’ measures, one that’s directed towards underclassmen, yet it’s about the principle of choice as opposed to any potential catastrophe. 


Disregarding financial terms, neither of these two requirements (nor any of the other unlisted ones which are of lesser importance,) affect me. This isn’t necessarily the case for the tens of thousands of other students attending ASU in the fall. 


Just because these measures aren’t likely to affect my college experience, with inclusivity comes more and more students of different backgrounds and circumstances. Some students can’t work with the financial fees, nor live on campus. These measures promote an ironic sense of exclusivity in a very inclusive college; I’m sure it’s worse elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s reasonable at ASU. The fact that a lot of these minor requirements are only implemented towards first year students is even more confusing, and only adds to the dilemma. 


My solution is simply to remove the policies behind making these decisions requirements, or at least revise them; these are things that should be choices as opposed to being enforced. Nonetheless, it’s not my decision to make. It’s worth consideration, should inclusivity be such a great factor of their policy making process.