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College Admissions Will Never Be Fair

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,698 Senior Member
"... So how can schools assess applicants? There’s no general agreement about what makes one candidate more qualified than another. Supporters of the Harvard suit dismiss 'personal ratings,' which are subjective and probably do enable anti-Asian prejudice. But let’s face it, no measures are truly objective. SATs, GPAs, extracurricular ratings — they’re all prone to bias.

I’d suggest thinking more systematically about the longer-term mission of education, and how to create incentives to fulfill it. Perhaps parents’ urge to game the system can even be turned to its advantage." ...



Replies to: College Admissions Will Never Be Fair

  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 1,771 Senior Member
    edited June 22
    I am not in the column of outweighing years of work reflected in grades and ap scores overshadowed by one set of 3 hour tests. Even all day tests. But tests are extremely valuable as part of the mosaic.

    And teacher recs are super insightful in some cases as they actually know a person from real interactions. This can be more persuasive to me than a well written essay that may or may not have really reflect that person. And you can get essay prep guidance and editing too. So what’s the answer.

    Use them all and have a critical thinking team of readers. For elites more than one reader. Everyone can have a bad day. Even admissions staff.

    U Chicago just went test optional. Not a good direction. And I stayed above I don’t place tests over grades. But as a tie breaker when everything is nearly equal it is informative in general. Will a star but poor test taker lose out. Yes. Will they everywhere. No. Will time deliver the ultimate verdict. IMHO yes.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,296 Senior Member
    edited June 22
    Elites have more than one reader on a file, several more.

    In the end, when you've got your final pool of desired kids, who meet the variety of bullets, yes, you'll often see higher scores trump. A sort of final cherry picking. But first kids have to meet more than simply high stats and some hs titles, some ECs. And that's kind of where you separate, to use an old expression, the men from the boys.

    The better you know a target, the better you assess and show your full match, the better your chance. Lots of kids miss that.
  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls Registered User Posts: 1,889 Senior Member
    Ha @ninakatarina I love that bit of wisdom. So very true.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,296 Senior Member
    In theory, (in theory,) community colleges offer an easy way to start college, live at home, and assess your readiness and goals, with a lower financial burden. I applaud the kids willing to go that path. But it's not an equal opportunity in all states or within your own commute.

    I also feel- and this is not to start a debate- that many kids aiming for "college" are not truly ready. Many would benefit from an occupational prep track. Around me, I see the dogged individuals (young and older) who make, say, community college work. And those who can't, for reasons that are not just financial.

    But back to "fair." Little can be fair when you have a tsunami of apps and a limited number of seats. The answer isn't always to make more seats available. Life is like that.
  • kidzncatzkidzncatz Registered User Posts: 769 Member
    edited June 23
    @gallentjill My thoughts exactly. We are one of those lower income PA families. If I wasn't pulling from my (by CC standards meager) savings, my two college-aged kids wouldn't have any options other than community college, as there are no commutable public 4-year schools. I am fortunate in a way to be the child of extremely frugal parents who were children during the Great Depression, and whose spending and savings habits rubbed off on me. Many families at our income level don't have the option of pulling from savings. Some also don't even have a commutable community college.
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