<p>The NY Times education section had an article on the proliferation of "general studies" as a "back door" to being admitted to a number of different universities. </p>
General studies, too, means many things its a four-year individualized degree (University of Idaho); a way station for undecided majors (Texas A&M, the University of Illinois); a liberal arts college for older students (Columbia University).</p>
<p>More often, however, it is about giving a leg up to high school graduates who have shown some academic success but fallen short of their peers, particularly in test scores. For universities, the programs are a way to hang on to tuition dollars and students theyre willing to take a chance on. For less competitive students, theyre a back door in.</p>
<p>Linda Wells, dean of the College of General Studies at Boston University, points out that admissions officers are looking for a certain board score on the verbal and writing components, and students are competing like a horse race, like an Oklahoma land rush, for that seat. Those on the cusp, with a rejection or wait-list response in their mailbox, can find a spot in her program, then transition into the larger university as juniors a move guaranteed by all the programs.
<p>Some of the other schools mentioned include Adelphi, Northeastern, and NYU. </p>
<p>I can see this is a great strategy for some students....but perhaps not all. If someone slacked somewhat in high school, or doesn't test well, this works well. How about for students who need some handholding as they transition from high school to college? This is certainly going to be more expensive than some other paths, like going to a CC for two years and then transferring. </p>