Be Careful What You Ask For, You Just Might Get It…

So, what’s going on with Harvard admissions? Don’t they want the best and the brightest students the world has to offer? Of course they do; they just want them in numbers that mirror the overall percentages of the population. This is where a group of perspective students cry foul. Asian Americans who are highly qualified are being turned down while students of other ethnicities with similar academic records are being accepted.

This is not a new development in college admissions. The University of Texas went through a years-long battle to keep race as a component in their admissions decision – all in the name of maintaining a racially diverse student body.

To make things even more chaotic, this is only one of the many problems that families of prospective college students have with the admissions process. The basic set of rules that require an application from every student can take on in infinite number of subtle differences in deadlines for the application, whether an essay is required and how many essays are needed, what combination of performance parameters can qualify a candidate for automatic admission and what needs to be done to garner financial aid. How many students actually know what means when an admissions official says that they perform a holistic review of the application?

The process can be changed to remove race from consideration and still achieve a diverse student body. What if more points were gained for being from a single-parent home or the number of years the student held a part-time job. What if the colleges started gravitating toward a standard that resulted in even less Asian Americans gaining admittance to Harvard? Just throwing a few things out there that some people may not have thought about. Admissions at most popular schools is not what it could be, but it could be a whole lot worse.

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