Why Applying to College Is So Confusing
Worth reading an article by the NY Times explaining why applying to colleges in the US can be so confusing.
Colleges themselves have widely diverging views on what makes an ideal applicant. It’s a widespread misconception that applicants have an automatic right to be admitted to the school of their choice if they have higher grades or test scores than other candidates. It’s not that grades and test scores don’t matter — they nearly always do — but colleges aren’t obligated to choose the students who are deemed most likely to earn high college grades or graduate. As the legal scholar Ronald Dworkin put it, there is “no combination of abilities and skills and traits that constitutes ‘merit’ in the abstract.”
Instead, what counts in admissions depends on the mission of the institution — and that can vary a great deal from school to school. Yale’s mission is “to seek exceptionally promising students of all backgrounds” and “to educate them, through mental discipline and social experience, to develop their intellectual, moral, civic and creative capacities to the fullest.”
Consider some of the questions Harvard says it uses to consider applicants: Where will you be in one, five or 25 years? What sort of human being will you be in the future? Are you a late bloomer? Do you have reserve power to do more?
The article also asks for greater transparency from the college admissions side.
While we don’t get further clarity, it is more important than ever to consider “fit” by choosing a school that fits your profile. It is also important to do a lot of research on the colleges you are applying to and to have detailed and specific supplements.
To read the entire article, go here.