Category Archives: Diversity

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Common App No Longer Requires Members to Conduct ‘Holistic’ Reviews

Indianapolis — The Common Application will no longer require member colleges to conduct “holistic” reviews of applicants, the organization announced on Friday. The change in policy will allow institutions that do not require admission essays or recommendations to join the 549 colleges worldwide that use the standardized online admission form.

Officials of the Common Application discussed the change, effective with the 2015-16 admissions cycle, during a session Friday morning here at the National…

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At Goucher College, Applicants Who Send Videos Need Not Send Grades

Starting this fall, applicants to Goucher College may submit a self-produced video instead of test scores, high-school transcripts, and recommendations. With the Goucher Video App, announced on Thursday, the liberal-arts college in Towson, Md., becomes the first institution to offer an application option in which a videotaped response will be the primary factor in admissions evaluations.

“Students are more than just numbers,” says Christopher Wild, an admissions counselor at Goucher. “We’ve alwa…

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Does Your Admissions Office Have ‘Cultural Intelligence’?

Chicago — The modern admissions office doesn’t need a good student-recruitment plan—it needs many of them. After all, what resonates with one applicant might not matter to another.

At the ACT’s Enrollment Planners Conference here on Friday, two admissions officials described how class and culture affect students’ college choices. The discussion was based on Inside the College Gates: How Class and Culture Matter in Higher Education, a recent book by Jenny M. Stuber.

Generally, upper-middle-class …

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Measuring Colleges’ Access and Diversity Efforts

sarahNot only do colleges have different goals when it comes to diversity, they don’t all define the term the same way. That has made one committee’s efforts to develop an index for rating colleges’ commitment to access and diversity a challenge, writes Sarah Pingel in a guest post. Ms. Pingel, a researcher at the Education Commission of the States, is scheduled to speak on this topic at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ annual meeting this week.

Can an institution’s…

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To Help Rural Students, Provide Them With Campus Jobs

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Rural students are an overlooked population with their own needs. In a guest post, Shannon Venezia offers advice on how colleges can better support those students. Ms. Venezia, director of financial aid at Washington State Community College, will present on the topic this week at a session of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ annual meeting, in Nashville.

Despite its name, Washington State Community College is located not in Washington State but in the historic t…

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At-Risk Students Who Fall Behind Struggle to Catch Up, Study Finds

Underachieving students in at-risk groups are less likely than other underachieving students to meet college-readiness standards four years later, according to a report released on Thursday by ACT.

The report describes the percentage of “far off track” students in at-risk categories (low-income, Hispanic, black, and special-education students, as well as those for whom English is a second language) who met college-readiness standards—based on their test scores in mathematics, reading, and scie…

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A Closer Look at Texas’ ‘Top 10 Percent’ Plan

Eligibility for automatic admission under Texas’ “top 10 percent” plan increases the likelihood that a student will enroll at one of the state’s flagship universities by about 60 percent, shifting eligible students away from selective private colleges, according to new research findings published in Education Next. Yet the effects of the “race-neutral” admissions program are most visible in high schools that already send many graduates to college.

Under the plan, which lies at the heart of Fishe…

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At Test-Optional Colleges, Students Surpass the Scores They Didn’t Submit

At nearly three dozen colleges that do not require applicants to take the ACT or SAT, researchers have found only “trivial differences” between the long-term performance of college students who submitted test scores and those who did not.

According to a report released on Tuesday, the cumulative grade-point averages of non-submitters was .05 lower than of submitters (2.83 compared with 2.88). The difference in their graduation rates: 0.6 percent.

The report (“Defining Promise: Optional Standardi…

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Grades Still Matter Most in Admissions

A majority of colleges attribute little or no importance to students’ race and ethnicity or first-generation status when reviewing applications, according to survey findings released on Thursday by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

The findings, which appear in the group’s “State of College Admission 2013″ report, shed light on how various student characteristics influenced evaluations of grades, strength of curriculum, and standardized-test scores—the most important f…

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Want to Define Merit? Good Luck

Los Angeles — All day long they wrestled with the meaning of merit.

On Thursday enrollment officials here discussed the term around which the admissions world revolves. How colleges assess and reward merit shapes the socioeconomic and racial diversity of students at selective colleges. But what, exactly, is merit? Should colleges redefine it? If so, how?

At a conference held by the University of Southern California’s Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice, many speakers agreed that…