UC wants the truth on student applications - Los Angeles Times
A long article regarding the purpose behind these questions, NOT THE SUPPLEMENT, and the people behind them. Interesting read with several anecdotes.
Some tid-bits that were interesting:
"Clippings from a school newspaper, a copy of a theater program, pay stubs or letters from a coach or counselor quickly resolve nearly all cases. Sometimes, anxious applicants send in performance videos, artwork, poetry or a sports plaque to bolster their cases."
"A soft-spoken woman, a mother who remembers what it's like for a child to apply to college, Jacobson says she and her staff of three verifiers do not consider themselves grand inquisitors. Real detectives "start with the premise that there was a crime," she said. "Our assumption is that it was the opposite, that [applicants] will be able to verify what we ask them to verify. And our experience is overwhelmingly that they are able to." She pointed to file boxes containing voluminous correspondence from applicants.
"For example, a student last year was asked to prove that she was a volunteer coach for a soccer team of younger girls. She responded that she could not find the soccer officials who could confirm the claim. So UC officials wrote again, suggesting that a letter from a team member's parent would do, as would some printed material from the league. After no further response, the application was canceled and the student was never heard from again.
In another recent case, a student was asked to verify her claim of a lead role in a school play. She wrote back that the drama teacher had retired and wasn't reachable and that she didn't have a copy of the playbill. UC gave her a second chance, as its rules allow, asking her to prove another item on her application, this one about volunteer work at an elementary school. What about a letter from a teacher there, the investigator suggested? The young woman did not respond and her application was discarded.
This year, an applicant sent in a video of a dance performance to verify her arts activities, but Educational Testing Service staff could not tell whether she was among the dancers and are awaiting a confirmation letter, preferably on school letterhead."