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Introducing a New Expert Content Section: Careers!

Five Biggest Trends in College Admissions

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,586 Senior Member
"It has been twenty years since I began my career in college admissions and I am finally seeing a shift in the process which benefits our kids. It’s been a long time coming—a hard-fought battle between student advocates and the powerful Ivory Towers that have continually raised the bar for certain groups of students they deemed too commonplace in their applicant pool.

These are the five biggest trends in college admissions which show a definite shift in power from the colleges to students:" ...


Replies to: Five Biggest Trends in College Admissions

  • turtle17turtle17 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    In addition to agreeing with the poster above, a more cynical reading of these trends is that they nearly all are a move to more subjective evaluations, with two advantages to those doing this. One is the subjectivity makes it easier withstand any court scrutiny that might be coming, and the second is it helps grow the need for a large cadre of admissions officers. As an example, every time I read "impact" I think that there is almost no way to check whether any claimed impact is really the case, or to compare one impact to another. The idea that emphasizing impact will enable HS students to pursue their dreams instead of chasing whatever impact is supposed to mean to admissions seems either clueless or ludicrous to me.
  • TTdd16TTdd16 Registered User Posts: 285 Junior Member
    Interesting that the article directly contradicts those here that say "recommended" subject tests actually mean "required," unless you're low income and can't afford them.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,725 Senior Member

    Quote from the article:

    "This has led students to take as many Advanced Placement courses as they can fit into their schedule, sometimes leaving them with no lunch period and hours of homework each night. Growing research suggests that schools offering the AP curriculum are only teaching to the test, the AP exams at the end of the year."

    I have never heard a single top school who expects applicants to take as many AP's as they can. That is simply a lie. They have consistently expressed interest in students who have taken a rigorous program, including some AP's if they are available, but they have also consistently told students that taking a very large number of AP's will not impress them.

    They have also told parents and students consistently that it is much better to take a more modest number of AP's do well at them, and be able to submit a well-rounded application overall.
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,457 Senior Member
    @Muchtolearn Would the student qualify for free apps because of low income status? Sounds like she really needs so safeties.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,886 Senior Member
    @turtle17 I could not agree with you more. Education is getting dumbed down constantly: just look at recent headlines stating that more students than ever are getting A's yet SAT scores continue to fall. The SAT is getting watered down because students needs to do well on these tests and the SAT was losing to many customers to the ACT because it is easier. The diversity police are fast at work trying to find ways around a inevitable ruling on affirmative action.
  • whatisyourquestwhatisyourquest Registered User Posts: 708 Member
    @Center What prove do you have that the ACT is "easier" than the SAT?
  • turtle17turtle17 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    My recollection of the Stanford visit was that the admissions talk started with the line "No one in this room will be admitted to Stanford" or something like it, with a strong emphasis on just what the really low acceptance rate means. Others aren't that different I think. If that didn't do it with this family, I'm not sure what will.

    I also agree a side effect of minimizing subject tests and the like is to increase the number of people thinking I have all I need to get in to elite school X, where all I need means mostly I am really passionate about me and going there. This side effect is obvious, so I think the universities know it. The decision they've made is that it is a price worth paying to have less data sitting in admissions files telling them which students actually accomplished the most academically, and thus making it easier to make whatever holistic choices they want.
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 937 Member
    The AP thing is bogus because many of the elite schools have "class rank" as "very important" on the CDS and brag about the 95% of the enrolled class being in the top 10% of their high school. Well, at least in D18's large public HS, you aren't going to be in the top 10% of the class by the end of your junior year unless you have taken 6-8 AP classes and have a 4.0 UW GPA.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,637 Senior Member
    @droppedit: That's a ton of A's. And a ton of kids taking a ton of AP's.

    Does most of the student body take 6-8 AP's and most students in AP classes get A's?
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 937 Member
    @PurpleTitan -- I don't know how many AP classes the kids take. D has talked about the high end kids taking AP classes during the summer and online during the school year to boost their GPAs so that they're in the top 10%. There are around 700 kids in the senior class and D18 is at 13% with 4 APs and a 4.0 UW. The 2016 class average ACT was 25. I imagine that avg has gone up for the class of 2018. There are a couple of kids in 10th grade taking GaTech calculus!
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