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Is the admissions process in US colleges becoming less fair?

marfrak98marfrak98 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited May 9 in Nepal
.I am an European student, studying Engineering in a US college and recently I had an experience which made me a lot on how the admissions process works in US colleges. I applied initially to study in US and got in a few colleges, but living in another country at the time, isolated me from this whole process as the only communication I had with the universities was via email and did not know many people who were applying to US colleges. This year I decided to apply for transferring at Princeton University, which reinstated the transfer admission after many years. I knew my chances to get in were small, despite having many academic accomplishments, research experience, good recommendation letters etc. This paragraph was taken from Princeton University latest post on the new transfer class:

"Of the students receiving offers of admission, eight have served on active duty in the military or are currently serving. Three of the students offered admission are women; 10 are men. Eight self-identified as people of color, including biracial and multiracial students."

You can read the whole post here (https://www.princeton.edu/news/2018/05/09/princeton-offers-admission-13-students-reinstated-transfer-program). However, I cold not find a sentence mentioning something outstanding related to the academic accomplishments of these students. I am sure that those people are great in their areas of study, but what concerns me is that an academic institution thinks that is more important to declare how many of those people have which skin color and how many others served in the military or not, over their academic accomplishments.

I have taken this post just as an example, but this phenomenon happens in many other universities. Studying in the US for almost 2 years now, I have noticed that universities tend to prioritize the admission of groups of people, by seeking diversity on their campuses. Personally I would prefer living on a diverse campus and this is an important reason why I chose to study in the US, but do you think that diversity is placed over merit in the admissions process?

Replies to: Is the admissions process in US colleges becoming less fair?

  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,113 Senior Member
    Define fair. And fair to whom?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,185 Senior Member
    Less fair than what? Than when only white males from wealthy families were admitted?
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 7,214 Senior Member
    From your other thread it sounds like you're an international student in your 2nd year of college who hopes to transfer to an Ivy. Admissions is competitive, especially for international students. I'm not sure if a 2020 SAT makes you competitive for Ivy admission, but you can try.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,209 Senior Member
    edited May 14
    Higher education at the very elite (private) schools in America is unique. It's not ALL about academics. These schools often look at applicants from the point of view "what can this student do for US?" Schools "build a class" partly based on what the incoming student will bring to campus ASIDE academic accomplishment since most of the students at these schools are accomplished to begin with.

    So yes, someone who served in the armed forces could bring a unique perspective into a psychology, sociology or history classroom discussion.

    A person of color could totally bring an entirely different experience to the education and private lives of his or her roommates, most of whom are white and lived in very white communities. (Google the infamous Princeton story about Michelle Obama's first college roommate whose white mother pressured the school because she didn't want her daughter living with an African American.)

    There are many colleges and universities around the world where exams decide whether or not you get in. Many American public universities don't care as much about your ethnic background or your ECs either, but focus on your grades and scores. And there are many schools where academic accomplishment is secondary to your ability to pay $250,000 for your Bachelor's degree. You have the money? You're IN!

    However, Princeton, the rest of the Ivies, Stanford, MIT and other elite schools have a different approach. They don't need your tuition money. They want talent, promise and someone who can bring unique contributions to the school's culture.

    Clearly their reputations have NOT suffered for it.
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