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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Looking for College Admissions Transparency in the Right Places
Back in January, I wrote about Fountain Hopper, a website designed by and for Stanford students to help applicants figure out why they'd been rejected by the colleges to which they'd applied. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all notes associated with the review of admissions applications legally belongs to the applicant. So, suddenly, students could try to piece together the reasons they may have fallen short.

Little has come of this rather dramatic news story since. What of the students who actually used Fountain Hopper to access their records? Were they revelatory? Satisfying? Instructive? I don't know.

This recent article in UCLA's own periodical, the Daily Bruin, sheds some more light on admissions transparency. The UC Information Center has created a new database aimed to make it easier to research the UC's admissions metrics. (The database is in "beta" form, meaning it is essentially a work in progress). Nevertheless, students may access information regarding admissions statistics.

The article notes that a previous program, Statfinder, was a bit of a flop. It also aimed to provide admissions statistics, but the site received very little traffic. As the article notes-these transparency sites are only useful when they are used.

For me, it begs the question of accessibility. There is an entire industry built around the demystification of the admissions process. The industry provides mostly speculation, lots of consulting for a price, and few answers.

Fountain Hopper and databases like this one provided through the University of California begs to differ. Perhaps students have just been looking in the wrong places?

Daily Bruin


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