Giving Compass’ Take:
• Liz Willen writes on the Varsity Blues scandal and how that ignited a lot of talks to change how college admissions work, however, not much real action is being seen.
• How do colleges determine student admissions? What factors are examined during the application process? How can colleges not impacted in recent scandals regain trust in the admissions process?
LOS ANGELES — Karoline Jimenez will never know exactly why her dream college turned her down. She was a student leader with top grades. Her essay recounted overcoming obstacles: moving to New York City from the Dominican Republic at 12, learning English, navigating bullies in school and an abusive father at home.
“When it turned out I didn’t get in, I collapsed emotionally, to the point that I missed school for a couple of days,” Karoline recounted recently.
Rejection without explanation has long been an annual rite of passage for high school seniors like Karoline seeking limited spots at elite four-year colleges. But now that bribes, lies and cheating schemes in the so-called Varsity Blues scandal have landed famous actresses, coaches and parents in prison, there are new cries for transparency about the role money, privilege and connections play in determining who gets in.
Last week, a host of ideas emerged during a conference sponsored in part by the University of Southern California, ground zero for bad admissions behavior. I listened carefully, wondering how and if anything will ever change.
I’m not holding my breath.
“It’s understandable that the public views college and admission with skeptical eyes,” said Robert J. Massa, a longtime enrollment specialist who now teaches at USC’s Rossier School of Education. Massa was among the higher education leaders pushing for new ways of fixing the system and restoring trust. They tossed around ideas like increasing enrollment at selective colleges and creating non-negotiable firewalls between admissions and development directors.
Read the full article about overhauling college admissions by Liz Willen at The Hechinger Report.
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