Leveraging holistic admissions to increase enrollment


In 2014, the UNLV Graduate College began incorporating holistic practices into the admissions process across the college, covering 175 graduate programs and approximately 6,000 yearly applicants. Prior to the change, UNLV had a minority graduate rate of 33%. Looking to increase those numbers, and find ways to assess each applicant fairly, the school sought out a new platform to help their process.


Powering holistic processes with a small team

With a small admissions team of four, assessing over 6000 yearly applicants holistically seemed nearly impossible. The team not only felt that traditional interviews were not sustainable, but they were also worried about the impact of having one interviewer dictate an applicant's future. UNLV struggled to find a scalable method of holistic review that could accurately measure the aptitudes of applicants without introducing bias.

“Over the course of the past year, we’ve seen quite a few of our graduate programs wave GRE and GMAT scores, either removing those test scores altogether or going test-optional. We’re seeing those same programs opt-in to using Kira.”

- Kara Wada, the Assistant Dean of Admissions & Enrollment Management at the University of Nevada


Increasing accessibility with Asynchronous Assessments

Leveraging Kira’s Asynchronous Assessment, UNLV is able to engage more faculty and staff in the process, without it interfering with their busy schedules. This added flexibility allows programs to adopt an inter-collegiate/cross-faculty approach to their admissions review, which helps involve a more diverse group of reviewers in the process, providing a more diverse range of perspectives on each applicant.

Utilizing timed-video responses, applicants are able to showcase skills that can't be found in a paper application. “Departments love it,” shared Wada. “Kira really helps programs go beyond what’s just on paper and they find scoring and reviewing in Kira to be really easy to navigate and time-efficient.”


Fostering diversity in admissions

"With Kira, we’ve increased diversity at the College by more than 10%, with 44.9% of our fall 2020 enrolled graduate students identifying as minorities."

The DPT program alone has seen a 20% increase in the diversity of its enrolled cohort, with 70% of the incoming cohort identifying as being from diverse backgrounds.

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