Acceptance Rate Data UMass Amherst

Mary Connaughton Pioneer Institute filed this request with the Department of Higher Education of Massachusetts.
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Mary Connaughton Pioneer Institute

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

We request the data included in Table 1 of the Admissions and Enrollment Report for Fall 2016 published by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst broken down between in-state and out-of-state applicants for the periods 2010 through 2016. We also request the data included Table 2 on the Fall 2016 Admissions and Enrollment Report, pertaining to the high school GPAs, SAT scores, ACT scores of both freshman and transfer applicants, broken down by in-state versus out-of-state for the periods 2010 through 2016.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Mary Connaughton Pioneer Institute

From: Wisneski, Ashley (DHE)

Dear Ms. Connaughton.

Thank you for your recent public records request. I have consulted with our Research and Planning team, and they have informed me that the Department of Higher Education (“DHE”) does not have all of the information that you are looking for. The data included in Table 1 and Table 2 of Admissions and Enrollment Reports referenced in your request is more extensive than the DHE can provide from its central data system. There are fields in these tables that we do not collect from UMass Amherst. In Admissions Table 1, these fields include: acceptance by first and alternate major, school or college within UMass Amherst, and CE Transfer and Post-Grad admissions category. In Admissions Table 2, these fields include: school or college within UMass Amherst, exploratory track, and transfer admit GPA. Also, UMass Amherst already provides this data for multiple years, back to fall 1987 http://www.umass.edu/oir/admissions-and-enrollment-reports). It is clear from other reporting that UMass Amherst can analyze data by applicant origin (in-state, out-of-state) (http://www.umass.edu/oir/sites/default/files/publications/factsheets/select_undergrad_stats/FS_sel_01.pdf).

I recommend that you contact the Office of Institutional Research (“OIR”) at UMass Amherst (http://www.umass.edu/oir/data-request-form) to request this information, as OIR is the author of the reports and is in a better position to provide you with the entirety of the data set that you are seeking.

If you are interested in the small subset of data that DHE is able to provide, please let us know. We do have basic applicant and admission data for UMA, including applicant origin. I have cced our Assistant Commissioner for Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Mario Delci, who would be able to provide this data subset to you.

Thank you,
Ashley

Ashley H. Wisneski, Esq.
Assistant General Counsel
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
(617) 994-6952

From: Wisneski, Ashley (DHE)

Dear Ms. Connaughton,

I am writing to follow up on the below email, as we have not heard back from you as to whether you would like DHE to provide the subset of data that it has that is responsive to your public records request. Please let us know if you would like us to proceed with the limited response that we can provide. If we do not hear back from you by the end of this month, we will be closing this request.

Thank you,
Ashley

Ashley H. Wisneski, Esq.
Assistant General Counsel
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
(617) 994-6952

From: Mary Connaughton Pioneer Institute

Thank you, Ashley.

Yes, we would like the subset of data. I appreciate the follow-up.

Regards,
Mary

From: Wisneski, Ashley (DHE)

Dear Ms. Connaughton,

Attached please find the limited data set that the Department is able to provide in response to your public records request. If you still require additional data, you would need to obtain it from UMass Amherst.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Ashley

Ashley H. Wisneski, Esq.
Assistant General Counsel
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
(617) 994-6952

From: Mary Connaughton Pioneer Institute

Hi Ashley,

One question - on table 2 of the file, where it refers to count of the SAT and High School GPA and distinguishes between provided and not provided, does that mean, in the SAT example, that the admittance rates are based on the SAT scores provided (e.g. in Fall 2016 the average in state SAT scores were based on a sample 369 of 3369 total in-state admittances, or roughly 11% of the population)? For the GPA, the amounts are based on only 14 of 3369 in-state admittances for the same period?

Thanks,
Mary

From: Wisneski, Ashley (DHE)

Dear Ms. Connaughton,

Thank you for your email. When I reached out to our Research and Planning team (which handles data collection, analysis, and requests) with your question, they realized that there was an inadvertent error in the spreadsheet that we originally sent: when formatting the analysis that was run, “provided” and “not provided” were mistakenly swapped. Our apologies. I am attaching a revised spreadsheet with correct labels.

As to your question, I am not sure what it is that you are asking, and our R&P team is also somewhat confused. Because your question does not constitute a public records request, I cannot assist you but our R&P team can. You should contact them directly so they can hopefully provide some guidance. The person to speak with is Mario Delci, Assistant Commissioner for Evaluation & Policy Analysis, and he can be reached at (617) 994-6964. A phone call will be more effective and efficient.

Thank you. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Ashley

Ashley H. Wisneski, Esq.
Assistant General Counsel
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
(617) 994-6952

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