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Author Topic: [SERIOUS] How do we fix the College Admissions Process? A short list  (Read 185 times)
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November 30, 2019, 05:03:54 PM
Last edit: November 30, 2019, 07:52:21 PM by squatz1
Merited by suchmoon (29), mk4 (4)
 #1

I know that we talk about this so much on here, so I'd love to talk about some concrete ways to fix the college admissions process. This is a process which leads to so many issues and is typically plagued by a lack of transparency and corruption. So here's my list:

1. Eliminate Rankings

Most colleges tout that they're the #1 in Forbes for this, or the #5 in US News Rankings for that and so on and so forth. But at the end of the day these rankings are just algorithms parsing through the hundreds of thousands of schools in the US. There's no reason that someone should rely on an atrbitrarily list like this to pick a college. There's also the issue that schools self report a good deal of information to these ranking sites, meaning that a new school is typically outed every year for inflating the reported numbers to the schools.

2. End Preferential Treatment for Legacy Applications

This isn't a problem in most schools, but in the IVY leagues -- you have a much better chance of being accepted to a school if your parent(s) were to have went their. Most schools say that they do this because it helps them with fundraising and alumni donations, but all this is a corrupt and nepotism filled way of not getting the most qualified person into the school. There's nothing that the government should do to end this, but people should be aware that schools are doing this.

3. End Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters are stupid. I highly doubt that any college is going to pit you against another student and the last thing that they're going to try to see who has the leg up is a recommendation letter for a second. Think about how stupid that is: You've gotten someone that you know is willing to write a good letter about you write one, and that's the last mechanism as to see whos the better student?

That's simply not the case, these letters are without a doubt not even read and are useless in the process. Eliminate and let guidance counselors spend more time doing other things.

4. DRASTICALLY CHANGE THE ESSAY

In most schools, your college essay is going to be read by a good deal of people before it goes in front of the college admissions committee. You're going to send it to your English teacher, then a friend, then one of your parents friends, then back to your English teacher, and so on and so forth. Maybe if you're wealthy enough you're going to hire a tutor to write it or edit the essay for you as well.

The best way to change this process is to force students to have a set amount of time to write their essay. This isn't going to eliminate coaching and things along those lines, but it limits the amount of abuse and gets closer to hearing the students voice in an essay.

5. Maybe get rid of the ACT/SAT -- CONTROVERSIAL

This is a tough one, and I truly cant wait to see what the people think about this. But I do think that the ACT/SAT isn't a true measure of a persons intelligence, but it might be the best way to measure it and to standardize the process. So I'm unaware of what to fully do with this one.

I think that the people that do best on these tests are going to be people from upper class families who have the resources to get tutors and really prepare for the tests. Maybe these students are smarter, yes, but I don't think its fair to pit someone against someone else due to the $$$$ invested in tutors when that knowledge is just going to fly away once the test is done.

6. For Certain Schools Use a Lottery System -- CONTROVERSIAL

So in a good deal of very good schools, there's an issue where theres so many 'perfect' applicants applying that there simply isn't enough spots in the university to fill them. I'm going to go back to Harvard here.

They've stated that they have double the amount of applicants with 'perfect' scores then the amount of spots that they need to fill. I think a way to save time and money on this process is to have admission counselors go through their first or second round of looking at applicants past their scores and then using a lottery to pick the rest.

7. Alter the Tuition System

No one is paying the 'sticker price' for schools these days. So why do schools still advertise this price and then scare away potential students from even applying? We don't know.

Schools should post the price that most people are going to be paying and then go from their.


---------------------------

Obviously a good deal of these may be controversial, though I do want to see what people think on the matter.

Self mod because, yeah. I typically don't delete things, but we'll see how this goes.

EDIT: I THOUGHT I PUT THIS IN INITIALLY, BUT THESE POINTS ARE FROM - https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-fix-college-admissions-11575042980?mod=hp_featst_pos1 - Thanks for the catch.






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November 30, 2019, 07:01:28 PM
 #2

I think Melissa Korn would agree with a lot of this Cheesy


The underlying root cause problem with college is the government is willing to subsidize the cost of college for all students, regardless of their ability to repay, or the value of the program they are taking, in nearly unlimited amounts. This leads to tuition becoming inelastic, and colleges rising tuition at much higher rates than what a free market would support. It also results in colleges hiring a bunch of 6 and 7 figure salary administrators who do nearly nothing, and facilitate the indoctrination of far left ideology within campus. 

This also gives colleges little incentive to grow their capacity for a larger student body because they are already overwhelmed with money simply by rising tuitions.

A lot of yours Melissa's suggestions would create regulations and give everyone less information when making a decisions as to which students to accept, and which schools to go to. I would rather both be better informed.

Another problem with colleges is the number of worthless degree programs they offer. If colleges were to offer only degree programs with actual value in the workplace, students who were not interested in 'real' degrees would not apply to college, and this would also eliminate the 'degree inflation' that results in employers requiring degrees when the work does not require any skills learned in college.

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November 30, 2019, 07:19:33 PM
 #3

Americans know better than all other peoples in the world, that if they don't like a system, they should be given the choice to not participate in it forcibly.

The people that are creating a market for top colleges, are also the people whose children drop out and fail to graduate. The U.S., for being a country with expensive and predominantly non-public academic institutions, has a relatively high dropout rate. If you don't like the admission process, then why even compete for some of the highest ranking universities if the fees are going to be sky high anyway? If more people thought like that the problem would go on solving itself.

The real metrics to rank a university with should vary per individual and expertise and rather in my opinion, be the result of personal research for each applicant. I would like to know by somebody like OP or anyone in the U.S. that is at least a little critical of the higher education system: Really, what difference would there be in graduating from an "high ranking" college or a  much more affordable, perhaps even state college? I think that academic knowledge and experience couldn't be all that different if we were to judge by that. Personal skills and employability in the end depend highly on personal efforts in my opinion other than just the piece of paper you're handed.

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November 30, 2019, 07:57:01 PM
 #4

I think Melissa Korn would agree with a lot of this Cheesy


The underlying root cause problem with college is the government is willing to subsidize the cost of college for all students, regardless of their ability to repay, or the value of the program they are taking, in nearly unlimited amounts. This leads to tuition becoming inelastic, and colleges rising tuition at much higher rates than what a free market would support. It also results in colleges hiring a bunch of 6 and 7 figure salary administrators who do nearly nothing, and facilitate the indoctrination of far left ideology within campus. 

This also gives colleges little incentive to grow their capacity for a larger student body because they are already overwhelmed with money simply by rising tuitions.

A lot of yours Melissa's suggestions would create regulations and give everyone less information when making a decisions as to which students to accept, and which schools to go to. I would rather both be better informed.

Another problem with colleges is the number of worthless degree programs they offer. If colleges were to offer only degree programs with actual value in the workplace, students who were not interested in 'real' degrees would not apply to college, and this would also eliminate the 'degree inflation' that results in employers requiring degrees when the work does not require any skills learned in college.

Firstly: I was under the impression that I had posted this at the bottom. I'm not one to steal someone elses work and this was a legitimate mistake by myself to forget to put it at the bottom. If you are to look at my other posts that go into this much of detail, I do post the WSJ article at the bottom.

Thanks for the catch, and I have edited it to include it. I hope that you do trust the fact that this was a legitimate oversight.

But back onto the point here:

Oh yes, the biggest issue with college in general is that the government has the faucet open to give money to everyone and then people are going and getting random degrees like underwater basket-weaving and getting nothing out of it and then having the audacity to say that the colleges are the problem or that the government isn't doing enough.





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November 30, 2019, 08:07:26 PM
 #5

Really, what difference would there be in graduating from an "high ranking" college or a  much more affordable, perhaps even state college? I think that academic knowledge and experience couldn't be all that different if we were to judge by that. Personal skills and employability in the end depend highly on personal efforts in my opinion other than just the piece of paper you're handed.

Graduating from a prestigious school definitely counts for something, but I think it's counting less and less in the recent years.

Of course it depends on your area of study, but Companies often partner with Universities with internship or mentor programs that often lead to pre-graduation job offers pending eventual Graduation and GPA.  The highest paying companies partner only with the most prestigious school.  

I think things are changing though, mostly because of the Student Loan issues and the ever growing access to online material, much of it free.  The only thing that Harvard offers their undergrads that they can't get for free is the "college experience" and a handful of specialized courses depending on their major.  All those huge lecture classes that only require you take a midterm and final are already on the internet.  

In the 70s and 80s, going to college was a huge deal here, something your whole family would be proud of.  Now everyone goes to college and any 18 year old can rack up 200k in debt while getting high and being an idiot for a couple years.  Convincing 18yo idiots to rack up massive debt while not capable of actually learning anything is just cruel.

I'm all for higher education, but that's just not what Undergraduate programs are anymore. We've just added 4 more years to what one is expected to spend on their education, the private universities are the only real winners in the big picture.


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November 30, 2019, 08:22:24 PM
 #6

End federal subsidies and loans. For every dollar a school accepts of federal funds they are required to maintain a certain percentage of private funding. Since a very big portion of this funding ends up coming from federal sources, the end result is they are constantly required to jack up tuition prices to meet the minimal private funding level. Once this is changed so many other issues will begin solving themselves.

Too many people who don't belong in college are burning vast resources to get degrees in underwater lesbian basket weaving and then doing nothing with the degree and ending up in massive debt. The current educational system is one big lesson in inflation.


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November 30, 2019, 08:59:38 PM
 #7

End federal subsidies and loans. For every dollar a school accepts of federal funds they are required to maintain a certain percentage of private funding. Since a very big portion of this funding ends up coming from federal sources, the end result is they are constantly required to jack up tuition prices to meet the minimal private funding level. Once this is changed so many other issues will begin solving themselves.

Too many people who don't belong in college are burning vast resources to get degrees in underwater lesbian basket weaving and then doing nothing with the degree and ending up in massive debt. The current educational system is one big lesson in inflation.

I really don't think the federal loan program is that big of a factor, and isn't it a profitable program overall anyway?  The loans aren't that big, and even if the student gets buried in private loans they can't make payments on the government loans will still get paid.  I think the max an undergrad student can get in subsidized loans is $5k a year for 4 years and they have to be enrolled as a full time student.  If the kid ends up making even 10% more over the period of an average life with an average income, that's a great return when you add up all the extra income tax.
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November 30, 2019, 10:11:43 PM
 #8


Thanks for the catch, and I have edited it to include it. I hope that you do trust the fact that this was a legitimate oversight.
I am not interested in ruining anyone's income or ability to post here, especially for a single possible mistake. I also am not interested in judging others, and am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

But back onto the point here:

Oh yes, the biggest issue with college in general is that the government has the faucet open to give money to everyone and then people are going and getting random degrees like underwater basket-weaving and getting nothing out of it and then having the audacity to say that the colleges are the problem or that the government isn't doing enough.


It is not just the government that does this, private lenders also lend without regard to the value of the degrees they are financing. This is largely because of special rules (written into law) regarding collecting defaulted student debt makes it difficult to ever 'get rid' of student debt, and private lenders not even asking about the type of program students are enrolled in. I am not sure if lenders are prohibited from asking about this, but I think it would probably be a safe bet that they are.

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squatz1
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November 30, 2019, 10:16:38 PM
 #9


Thanks for the catch, and I have edited it to include it. I hope that you do trust the fact that this was a legitimate oversight.
I am not interested in ruining anyone's income or ability to post here, especially for a single possible mistake. I also am not interested in judging others, and am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

But back onto the point here:

Oh yes, the biggest issue with college in general is that the government has the faucet open to give money to everyone and then people are going and getting random degrees like underwater basket-weaving and getting nothing out of it and then having the audacity to say that the colleges are the problem or that the government isn't doing enough.


It is not just the government that does this, private lenders also lend without regard to the value of the degrees they are financing. This is largely because of special rules (written into law) regarding collecting defaulted student debt makes it difficult to ever 'get rid' of student debt, and private lenders not even asking about the type of program students are enrolled in. I am not sure if lenders are prohibited from asking about this, but I think it would probably be a safe bet that they are.

I appreciate extending the benefit of the doubt. Would never compromise my standing here for one post.

But:

I do understand the special regulations when it comes to this sort of loan though. Because without these built in discharge protections, there is no way that lenders would ever lend to people that have no income yet, no assets, and no ability to prove that they will have income.

You're a college kid going to school, getting a loan for the entire cost of school is a massive benefit that is extended to you because it is backed by the US government and you cant discharge it.

This isn't like any other loan, if you were to stop paying the bank can't just take your degree and say -- you're clear. The paper is not worth anything. This isn't like a car loan / house mortgage where the bank can seize the asset to pay off what is owed. That's why these special protections are built in.


End federal subsidies and loans. For every dollar a school accepts of federal funds they are required to maintain a certain percentage of private funding. Since a very big portion of this funding ends up coming from federal sources, the end result is they are constantly required to jack up tuition prices to meet the minimal private funding level. Once this is changed so many other issues will begin solving themselves.

Too many people who don't belong in college are burning vast resources to get degrees in underwater lesbian basket weaving and then doing nothing with the degree and ending up in massive debt. The current educational system is one big lesson in inflation.

I really don't think the federal loan program is that big of a factor, and isn't it a profitable program overall anyway?  The loans aren't that big, and even if the student gets buried in private loans they can't make payments on the government loans will still get paid.  I think the max an undergrad student can get in subsidized loans is $5k a year for 4 years and they have to be enrolled as a full time student.  If the kid ends up making even 10% more over the period of an average life with an average income, that's a great return when you add up all the extra income tax.

The government plays a role in all the loans though, even disregarding the 5k given out. They've ensured that all people are allowed to get loans, regardless of assets, income, and so on and so forth. The only thing that the people must agree to to get this loan is that there is no way to discharge this loan.

And not being able to discharge this loan makes sense. As I said up above, discharging other loans can come with the ability of the bank to seize assets. A loan for school, with value that we determine to be knowledge, isn't something that can be seized and sold off to ensure that the lender isn't hurt.




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November 30, 2019, 10:31:49 PM
 #10

Are you guys saying the federal government makes private lenders offer loans without any sort of discrimination?  I was always under the impression that when it came to loans they (the private companies) could pick and choose however they liked.

(Hey Squatz you just got your legendary)
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November 30, 2019, 10:42:12 PM
 #11

Are you guys saying the federal government makes private lenders offer loans without any sort of discrimination?  I was always under the impression that when it came to loans they (the private companies) could pick and choose however they liked.

(Hey Squatz you just got your legendary)

Yep, just got it earlier today. Very excited about that.

But I'm unsure of if private lenders are forced into not discriminating. Though I don't think they do discriminate based on the degree or anything along those lines because people can't discharge the loans anyway. Which is because the US government wants more and more people to go to college because (even if you pick some random degree) statistically it gives people the best shot at success compared to just going to high school.

Obviously, there's an argument here for people to go to trade school, and I do agree with that, though I'm going to be leaving that one out of this conversation.




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November 30, 2019, 11:12:27 PM
 #12

about the admissions process

what most dont know is behind the scenes college get sponsors from big companies. this is not just sports but also science and industry
there are electric companies that help finance colleges to train electrician engineers to be the future electric generation plant workers.
law firms, hospitals and as i said NBA NFL sports

but they only get a best rate/bonus if the student grades have a high standard of passing their degree. so colleges do get picky and only want people that are serious about learning and show good thinking/problem solving skills to make getting their degree easier than just a dumb jock who just wants to get drunk and date cheerleaders.

there are other secret payments like internships/apprenticeships/ work experience where by the colleges get paid for many hidden reasons

so having the right student available who fits the needs has an actual priority
this does effect a colleges 'rankings' as they show good exam results and then good follow on employment prestige so colleges will always be picky.

a way to solve the accessibility to getting students able to get a degree, for those that dont care about going to prestige colleges. can be done by simply doing a 'home school' /internet based courses. as costs can be lowered.
for instance one college can record tutors lectures and then make that video available to millions of online students. this way instead of a lecture hall of 50 students paying towards the costs of the tutor/hall/administration/lodgings. that tutor is getting paid by 1million students meaning fee's get cut by 2000x compared to a student attending a college
so if a attending college fee was $20k.. a online college could be $10
thus making college degree's accessible to everyone

I DO NOT TRADE OR ACT AS ESCROW ON THIS FORUM EVER.
Please do your own research & respect what is written here as both opinion & information gleaned from experience. many people replying with insults but no on-topic content substance, automatically are 'facepalmed' and yawned at
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November 30, 2019, 11:48:29 PM
Last edit: December 01, 2019, 12:01:11 AM by TECSHARE
 #13

End federal subsidies and loans. For every dollar a school accepts of federal funds they are required to maintain a certain percentage of private funding. Since a very big portion of this funding ends up coming from federal sources, the end result is they are constantly required to jack up tuition prices to meet the minimal private funding level. Once this is changed so many other issues will begin solving themselves.

Too many people who don't belong in college are burning vast resources to get degrees in underwater lesbian basket weaving and then doing nothing with the degree and ending up in massive debt. The current educational system is one big lesson in inflation.

I really don't think the federal loan program is that big of a factor, and isn't it a profitable program overall anyway?  The loans aren't that big, and even if the student gets buried in private loans they can't make payments on the government loans will still get paid.  I think the max an undergrad student can get in subsidized loans is $5k a year for 4 years and they have to be enrolled as a full time student.  If the kid ends up making even 10% more over the period of an average life with an average income, that's a great return when you add up all the extra income tax.

Unfortunately what you think is irrelevant, the fact is federal loans with accompanying private funding requirements have been proven to drive up tuition costs. Of course you would have to have a basic understanding of economics and bother to look first instead of just assuming to be correct to understand this.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/prestoncooper2/2017/02/22/how-unlimited-student-loans-drive-up-tuition/

https://slate.com/business/2015/09/student-loans-drive-up-college-costs-what-should-we-do-about-it.html

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr733.pdf


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TwitchySeal
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December 01, 2019, 12:01:56 AM
 #14

End federal subsidies and loans. For every dollar a school accepts of federal funds they are required to maintain a certain percentage of private funding. Since a very big portion of this funding ends up coming from federal sources, the end result is they are constantly required to jack up tuition prices to meet the minimal private funding level. Once this is changed so many other issues will begin solving themselves.

Too many people who don't belong in college are burning vast resources to get degrees in underwater lesbian basket weaving and then doing nothing with the degree and ending up in massive debt. The current educational system is one big lesson in inflation.

I really don't think the federal loan program is that big of a factor, and isn't it a profitable program overall anyway?  The loans aren't that big, and even if the student gets buried in private loans they can't make payments on the government loans will still get paid.  I think the max an undergrad student can get in subsidized loans is $5k a year for 4 years and they have to be enrolled as a full time student.  If the kid ends up making even 10% more over the period of an average life with an average income, that's a great return when you add up all the extra income tax.

Unfortunately what you think is irrelevant, the fact is federal loans and grants with accompanying private funding requirements have been proven to drive up tuition costs. Of course you would have to have a basic understanding of economics and bother to look first instead of just assuming to be correct to understand this.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/prestoncooper2/2017/02/22/how-unlimited-student-loans-drive-up-tuition/

https://slate.com/business/2015/09/student-loans-drive-up-college-costs-what-should-we-do-about-it.html

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr733.pdf

Yeah, I wasn't saying that student loans don't drive up the costs.  They obviously do.  I don't think getting rid of the federally funded loans, especially the subsidized ones would solve much, at least not for the public schools.  I guess limiting them to only non-private schools might be a good idea though.

Interesting Report there:


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December 01, 2019, 12:13:51 AM
 #15

Yeah, I wasn't saying that student loans don't drive up the costs.  They obviously do.  I don't think getting rid of the federally funded loans, especially the subsidized ones would solve much, at least not for the public schools.  I guess limiting them to only non-private schools might be a good idea though.

Interesting Report there:

https://i.gyazo.com/46554c9d478cec01064eed9d2b024678.png
https://i.gyazo.com/3caebb44f6557fbdabdba27c36a178b6.png

I see. So your entire argument was a non-sequitur. Got it.


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af_newbie
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December 01, 2019, 03:07:52 AM
 #16

1. Administer entrance exams to each school and each program.  Accept only the top 100 students per program. Offer full scholarships to the top 10 students in each program.  

2. Eliminate non-academic scholarships.

3. Eliminate all other bullshit/noise: recommendation letters, volunteer work letters, high-school averages, essays, participation in sports and other hobbies, racial and social profiles, etc.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
TwitchySeal
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December 01, 2019, 03:13:08 AM
 #17

1. Administer entrance exams to each school and each program.  Accept only the top 100 students per program. Offer full scholarships to the top 10 students in each program.  

2. Eliminate non-academic scholarships.

3. Eliminate all other bullshit/noise: recommendation letters, volunteer work letters, high-school averages, essays, participation in sports and other hobbies, racial and social profiles, etc.

Good ideas.  All leaning towards what American Post-Grad school is like today.
Mometaskers
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December 02, 2019, 04:32:32 AM
 #18

End federal subsidies and loans. For every dollar a school accepts of federal funds they are required to maintain a certain percentage of private funding. Since a very big portion of this funding ends up coming from federal sources, the end result is they are constantly required to jack up tuition prices to meet the minimal private funding level. Once this is changed so many other issues will begin solving themselves.

Too many people who don't belong in college are burning vast resources to get degrees in underwater lesbian basket weaving and then doing nothing with the degree and ending up in massive debt. The current educational system is one big lesson in inflation.

I don't live in the US but I read some article blaming the subsidies for the continuing rise of tuition fees. Universities know that one way or another, they are going to get paid and so they jack up the prices. Without such a guarantee, they'd price it realistically.

I also agree with your opinion that not all people belong in college. College diploma used to mean something when not everyone can have it. Now it became just another requirement for a job and is also negatively affecting people who can't go to college (either for intellectual or economic reasons). If you're a highschool graduate applying to work as a barista, they'd pick those English majors over you!  Grin

As for vanity courses, IMHO they should not be subsidized and loans not given out for them.
squatz1
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December 03, 2019, 01:51:22 AM
 #19

1. Administer entrance exams to each school and each program.  Accept only the top 100 students per program. Offer full scholarships to the top 10 students in each program.  

2. Eliminate non-academic scholarships.

3. Eliminate all other bullshit/noise: recommendation letters, volunteer work letters, high-school averages, essays, participation in sports and other hobbies, racial and social profiles, etc.

Good ideas.  All leaning towards what American Post-Grad school is like today.

Eh -- I do think there is immense value in a school seeing your essay (just in a different way then it is done now) and participating in sports / other hobbies as it does show what kinds of interests you have. Volunteering would fit into the same sort of thing.


It would also make sense for colleges to have the school verify that all of these are actually being done -- you wouldn't want someone saying on their application that they're the president of all these different clubs without actually doing such and only being admitted to a college because he got the leg up from these.




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af_newbie
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December 03, 2019, 02:27:22 AM
 #20

1. Administer entrance exams to each school and each program.  Accept only the top 100 students per program. Offer full scholarships to the top 10 students in each program.  

2. Eliminate non-academic scholarships.

3. Eliminate all other bullshit/noise: recommendation letters, volunteer work letters, high-school averages, essays, participation in sports and other hobbies, racial and social profiles, etc.

Good ideas.  All leaning towards what American Post-Grad school is like today.

Eh -- I do think there is immense value in a school seeing your essay (just in a different way then it is done now) and participating in sports / other hobbies as it does show what kinds of interests you have. Volunteering would fit into the same sort of thing.


It would also make sense for colleges to have the school verify that all of these are actually being done -- you wouldn't want someone saying on their application that they're the president of all these different clubs without actually doing such and only being admitted to a college because he got the leg up from these.

Add an essay section on the entrance exam if you want to test one's writing skills.

Asking applicants for an essay just adds one more expense for the parents.  Most undergrad applicants have prepping companies preparing their applications.  So if you ask for an essay, parents will just spend more money to get a professional essay prepared for their precious ones.

Real-time, in-person testing is the only way to go.  Include an oral exam to test speaking skills if your program requires it.

Properly designed entrance exams (that very few applicants can complete in time) will allow you to select the best of the best.  

That way the university resources will be used for their intended purpose.

PS. SATs are a joke.  It is like checking if someone has a pulse.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
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