Opinions Are Like (insert word of your choice) Everybody Has One

Improving college admissions is a constant topic of debate. What has become obvious to me is that many opinions are formed from a solitary point of view. Something I agree with changing are all the options in the way the student can apply. The ones I can name off the top of my head are Early Action, Restrictive/Single Choice Early Action, Priority Applications, Early Decision I and II and Rolling Admission. I can understand a couple different options, but come on…

What about demonstrated interest? Some colleges say that they place value in demonstrated interest. That means that the student has made contact with the college and inquired about the possibility of gaining admission; the more times the better for favorite colleges. Shouldn’t all colleges be interested in students that are interested in them?

Standardized testing is another subject experiencing change and has been under the microscope for years. Each year more and more colleges are making test scores optional. Something that could derail the movement away from standardized test scores is more school districts not ranking their seniors. We can’t talk about test scores and rankings without talking about statistics the colleges publish. Top colleges want to toot their own horn to perspective students as well as to organizations that rank colleges. Those numbers create their own kind of stress for students who teeter on the edge of “the middle 50%” admitted to any specific college.

There are also those who question the value of pursuing a college degree at all. There is really no question about how beneficial it can be financially to earn a college degree. This question is best answered by the individual and what they want to do. Cost should not be the deciding factor in making this decision.

One of the biggest arguments presently is whether merit should be the only consideration when accepting students. If that plan was put in place all our elite colleges would be transformed to overwhelmingly female populations who are mostly international, Asian or of Middle Eastern descent. Of course, it wouldn’t take very long for a system to develop where wealthy families pour large sums of money into private schools and testing organizations to produce superior grades and test scores. Oh wait, that’s what we have now…

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