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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.|
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Reframing the College Admissions Model
Call me old-fashioned, but there's something a little predatory about marketing your college to an eighth-grader. If you want to hit the AP classes in high school, you have to lay the groundwork in middle school. To me, that's pressure enough. But marketing to 12-13 year-olds?
The thing about college marketing is that many teenagers don't actually know it is happening. In reality, colleges routinely buy lists of test-takers from the businesses that administer the SAT and ACT exams, for example. High scoring students are a prize for the colleges, so they begin targeting those students-often as early as the eighth grade.
A recent Washington Post article posits an interesting question. If colleges are researching candidates long before the admissions process even happens for them, how important is the college application itself? The advent of on-line applications has made it easier and faster to apply to many schools at once, meaning that many students are merely casting a wide net, rather than making painstaking applications to the schools of their dreams.
So how important should the application be? What does it have to offer that cannot be assessed by simply harvesting information about student scores and grades? If the colleges have access to a student's "work history", the application is little more than a metaphorical "nterview". Is it time to rework the process?
One of the primary problems with the current system is its inefficiency. UCLA boasts of 90,000 undergraduate applications. This may sound prestigious, but it also sounds like a whole lot of busy work, particularly since the vast majority of those students don't stand a chance of admission.
There are too many avenues bearing need for discussion in this post. The system is slowly breaking, but fixing it will be a long, evolutionary journey. For a brief overview, the WP article can be found here: Washington Post >
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