Education is widely recognized as one of the most important factors in an individual’s success and ability to mold and change the world around them. With something that is held so sacred in the eyes of the general population, the gate to get into higher education tarnishes that image. With the recent college admissions scandals leading to the process falling under the scrutiny of the public, it has become clear just how broken the system has become.
This idea is covered in a New York Times article College Admissions: Vulnerable, Exploitable, and to Many Americans, Broken, which expands on all the ways people have been using the system to get what they don’t deserve. The article begins by stating the often perceived facade of college admissions, which is one of picking the most deserving student after a highly selective and objective process. But, with the recent scandals, this facade has fallen and we are able to see the atrocity that is college admissions. Faking standardized testing scores, paying college employees to look the other way, lying about activities, and a slew of other untruthful actions have shown just how desperate people are to be offered admissions at these highly selective colleges. These type of activities have been going on long before the recent scandal as well. There are accounts of schools faking transcripts and playing to the worst stereotypes of moorites. Regardless of the how it happens, it is clear that something needs to change.
One such school is trying to make a change. While Hapsire College is by no means selective, it took the step to completely get rid of standardized testing consideration in the undergraduate admissions. In an article they published titled Results of Removing Standardized Testing From College Admissions, Hampshire College discusses the reason, benefits, and outcomes of their decision. Getting rid of standardized testing is a bold step forward for colleges. From a marketing perspective, it removes them from ranking lists which is a massive deterrent for many prospective students. Getting rid of standardized testing is getting rid of a tradition that has been a defining quality for over one hundred years. Nevertheless, the decided it was the right choice. A lot of their reasoning comes from the idea that the challenges of the world involve creative and innovative ideas that cannot be tested in a four hour test. They want students who have the ability to solve these problems, and not ones who spent time preparing for a test that has no weight in their success as a student or professional, and the results have been astounding. They have found that while the receive less applicants, the quality o the applications have skyrockets, and their yield rate has increased by around 10%. By removing standardized testing, they have found they have more time to evaluate the student as an individual, and not just as a set of numbers. Her campus has increased their diversity and has allowed for a more streamlined and efficient college admissions process. This step of removing something that was seemingly intrinsic to the admission process, which so many colleges refuse to consider, has lead to a more fair and successful undergraduate freshman class at Hampshire College.
However, Hampshire College lies in the very small small minority of colleges. For most selective colleges, the recent scandal has only lead to apologize, laying off a couple people, and moving forward with what they’ve always done. As we enter early April, another one of the backwards practices of spective college admissions rolls around – the waitlist. As these selective colleges great the small number of admitted students into their freshman class, they send a comparable amount of kids, if not more, a spot on their waitlist. These waitlists offer students the continued hope that they might be offered admissions, but for a wide majority of the students who accept the offer, they will never be admitted.
Hartocollis, Anemona. “College Admissions: Vulnerable, Exploitable, and to Many Americans, Broken.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15/us/college-admissions-problems.html.
Craig, Ryan. “The Real Cruelty Of College Admissions.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 3 May 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/ryancraig/2018/05/03/the-real-cruelty-of-college-admissions/#3a69e22b5fe6.
Lash, Jonathan, and Hampshire College. “Results of Removing Standardized Test Scores from College Admissions.” Www.hampshire.edu, 21 Sept. 2015, www.hampshire.edu/news/2015/09/21/results-of-removing-standardized-test-scores-from-college-admissions.
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