There is no denying that the admissions process is often considered a ‘mishmash’. Every year, thousands of applications flood the admissions office, each hoping for an acceptance. How do schools base their selection? Is there a standard formula to work from? Sadly, no; for both the school and the student, determining how the “accepted” students are accepted to a particular school is not a clear cut picture.
In a New York Times article entitled “What Colleges Want in an Applicant (Everything)”, Eric Hoover discusses the challenges faced by colleges and university Admissions offices and the obstacles which student applying must try to overcome. The article looks at the many elements which may be factored in when assessing a student’s worthiness for admission including items such as SAT scores, grades, ethnicity, merit, financial considerations, holistic evaluations and more. It’s a confusing, time consuming process that often leaves questions unanswered such as the biggest one: Did your campus select the right pool of applicants to be accepted students?
How do you know if you are choosing the right students from your pool of applicants?
Dr. Angel B. Pérez, vice president for enrollment and student success at Trinity College in Hartford recently revamped Trinity’s process to better identify promising students, particularly the disadvantaged. The article states, “While reading applications, its admissions officers now look for evidence of 13 characteristics — including curiosity, empathy, openness to change and ability to overcome adversity — that researchers associate with successful students. These are also qualities that the liberal-arts college values, inside and outside the classroom. Trinity’s admission staff can check as many qualities as apply using a drop-down box labeled “Predictors of Success.” They must note where they saw evidence of each quality in the application.”
Coupled with conventional merit measures- such as SAT/ACT scores, Trinity College is trying to diversify the school’s class composition. “I’m trying to increase the tools we have, and get beyond a system that is absolutely antiquated,” Dr. Pérez said. “As the country becomes more diverse, as we learn more about the correlation between standardized test scores and wealth, we have to be a lot more creative in predicting for success in college.”
To read more about how multiple other schools are tweaking their admissions process to help them get the best group of students as accepted students and to give a diverse group of students a chance at college acceptance, read the entire article, here.