“If a student meets the cut-offs in any college, then admission there is guaranteed. That is why the cut-offs are so high, to prevent over-admissions.” This is an oft-quoted explanation from every Delhi University college each year when the cut-offs are released. However, what the students are probably unaware of is that meeting a college cut-off is only half the battle won for a seat, for there are still those unique “additional eligibility criteria” to meet in each college.

“Additional eligibility criteria do not apply to reserved categories including SC/ST and PWD candidates,” said Deputy Dean Students’ Welfare Gulshan Sawhney. He added that this criteria was in addition to the minimum eligibility criteria that the university prescribed for applying. “Initially the students had to just choose a subject while filling the university application form, only after the cut-offs came would they get admissions in the colleges. But I suggest that students find out the additional criteria in their college of choice while submitting the university application itself so that they are not disappointed later.”

The additional criteria are not the same in every college and can be contradictory to the university guidelines. An important development this admissions season was that though the university made an announcement that a background in mathematics would not be necessary for a student to pursue any Commerce course, there are several colleges which have already made mathematics compulsory for almost all their Commerce courses. Shri Ram College of Commerce for its B. Com (Honours) course requires mathematics and for its Economics (Honours) course, a score of 70 per cent in Mathematics is the minimum eligibility criteria.

Lady Shri Ram College also wants mathematics for its B. Com (Honours). “Earlier, colleges would offer B. Com programmes, which did not need a mathematics background, but now that this has been merged with the Honours course. It will be very difficult for a student without a mathematics background to deal with this course. We are not asking for very high marks, just 60 per cent,” said LSR spokesperson Dr. Kannika.

“If the university communicates to us that our additional criteria is unacceptable, then we will have to roll it back,” she added, when asked why the criteria was contradictory to the university guidelines.

This, however, might not happen. “Many colleges have asked for mathematics as a background for Economics and this is reasonable since many papers in the course deal directly with it,” said Deputy Dean Gurupreet Tuteja. St. Stephen’s College, for example, with its own admission procedure has several additional requirements.