Admission Season

Why Is DU Cut Off So High?

In lieu of the 100% cut-off released by Lady Shri Ram College for Women, it becomes pertinent to look at some of these factors that explain the reasons behind these high DU cut-off lists.

Every year, once the Delhi University (DU) cut-off lists come out, they get pegged at skyrocketing numerals. After the revelation takes place, the next question everyone asks is- Why is DU cut-off so high?

Well, there are a number of reasons why DU keeps on setting records in terms of its minimum eligibility percentage or cut-off. It becomes pertinent to trace these reasons more in lieu of the recent 100% cut-off. Some of the reasons are explained below:

  1. Limited Number of Seats

DU is a central university mandated and governed by an act of Parliament. This makes it open to all the residents of India, irrespective of their region/community/race/class, etc. Over the past few years, DU has been becoming a popular choice for a lot of students, because of an interplay of factors like legacy, brand name, placements, etc. Yet the irony is that DU has only around 62000+ seats for undergraduate courses. This makes it difficult on part of DU to admit all students, with applications having mounted to 5 lakh or more this year. Moreover, DU doesn’t increase seats owing to administrative problems and other factors too.

  • CBSE Board Exam Results

This is one of the most important factors playing the ultimate role in deciding the cut-off. Though students from Indian School Certificate (ISC) and State Boards can also apply in DU, it’s the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) pass-outs who form a major chunk of the population. Recent trends especially this year’s marking indicate a lot of grade inflation with many students scoring 100 in almost all subjects.

Even though we have to consider 22-23 different school education boards, the bulk of the input comes from the CBSE so we primarily look at what the results for its board exams are looking like in a year. If the mean percentage has gone up, I too will have to increase my cut-offs. And as in the case of this year, if there are over 5000 applicants with 100%, there is very little that the university administration or any college can do.

Manoj Sinha, principal, Aryabhatta College to The Indian Express

 Thus the colleges estimate the number of kids scoring 95%+ and accordingly peg the cut-offs as per seats. They get higher as and when the number of high scorers increases.

  • Popularity of Courses and College

Another factor that comes into play is the demand and popularity of a certain course in a certain college. This factor doesn’t have a concrete logic behind it. Yet owing to already prevalent stereotypes and myths, certain colleges are preferred over others. For example, the B.Com Honours course at Shri Ram College for Commerce (SRCC) is preferred over others. Similarly, the political science course at Hindu College, Kirori Mal College, Lady Shri Ram College for Women  has more demand. Thus individual colleges look at these trends. Besides that, the number of applications for a particular course is also taken into consideration. DU statistics state that courses like English, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, etc. have greater demand over others, which becomes a determining factor in the cut off being pitched high.

  • Number of Applications

DU Beat had earlier reported that DU had received around 5.63 lakh applications in 2020. This record was the highest in 3 years. And so the cut-off having risen to 99%-100% is self-explanatory too. The total number of applications DU receives decides the number of students who will actually get admitted. Out of the 5 lakh candidates or any other number, some withdraw their applications or don’t pay the registration fee. Altogether, the applications do reduce subsequently. Yet keeping in mind the limited number of seats, DU mostly tries to catch the “creamy” layer of the population by setting them high.

  • Guesswork on basis of previous cut-offs or otherwise

It is mostly seen that DU Cut-Offs largely vary by a difference of either 0.5%-0.75%. Colleges employ the usage of data of previous year cut-off to get a starting point. Therefore, the cut-off either remains the same or varies slightly except for extraordinary situations like this year, when they have seen a drastic change.

Since the university did not seek course-wise or college-wise information this year, we were shooting in the dark. As many as 2,512 girl students with 100% applied for admission, as per the registration data. Over 13,900 were in the range of 95-99.9%. In the previous years, we were dealing with a much lower number of top scorers, and we had data on how many students have opted for a particular course.

An official from a south campus college, as reported by The Hindustan Times

To make things worse, this time the colleges didn’t have any data on the preferred courses. So it’s mostly a hit or miss method that has been used to predict the cut-off. Further, colleges keep them as high as they can in the first list so as to not over-accommodate students.

Thus, it’s not just the college that autonomously decides as to how high the cut-off will be pitched. A careful and conscious intersection of all these reasons and stakeholders like boards, administration, seats, demand, etc. come together. That’s how DU cut-off touches the skies.

Featured Image Credits: India TV News

Navneet Kaur