Plastic has an interesting argument about college admissions. A caveat to this, before I go on, is that I have considered dropping Plastic because of the vicious response a particular author gave to remarks based on his article. I found the remarks totally reasonable and his response totally unreasonable. This is not the author, but beware…
Anyway, the article is about a proposed new admissions standard. Just the GPA and the SAT. I’m totally opposed to that.
First of all, have you seen what the SAT is doing? In November they changed the test without telling people they were going to and the changes counted in the scores. The SAT is supposedly moving more towards the ACT. Well, then why not use the ACT and get it over with?
Second, have you been to more than one school system? I have. The A’s at the public school in Charlotte, NC were worth about half what the A’s at the public school in Armonk, NY were worth. A’s earned in Austin’s east side schools are much more difficult than other areas, not because the schools are harder, but because the culture is different. A’s aren’t a thing to be proud of there.
No, I don’t want people to be able to buy their kids a position, but you know, they can. It helps the schools stay financially solvent if JJ spends $2 mill on the college and then his daughter applies there. There aren’t that many rich people who are willing to pay that much for their kids to go there. It keeps the tuition down and the quality of the professors and classrooms up.
I think that the essay is essential. Being an English teacher, you would probably expect that of me. But if you can’t write well and coherently on an interesting topic, do you need to be at the better colleges?
I think that outside work, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities should be considered. This from someone who didn’t work, didn’t volunteer, and was only involved with the school paper. I didn’t have fifty things on my application. But I think it is important to see them. I don’t necessarily think the number of things matters. If you were in 17 clubs, I’d want to know what you did in those clubs. If you were on all the teams, I’d assume you at least made it to practice, but I’d want specifics.
Colleges now give college credit for “life experience portfolios.” I think the admissions process should use the same type of thing, along with the GPA and a standardized test.