Category Archives: Diversity

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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…

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First-Generation Students Lag in College Readiness, Report Says

About a quarter of high-school graduates who took the ACT in 2013 met all four of its college-readiness benchmarks, in English, reading, mathematics, and science. But students whose parents did not go to college fared quite a bit worse: Only 9 percent of them met all four benchmarks.

That finding comes from a report, “The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013: First-Generation Students,” released on Monday by ACT and the Council for Opportunity in Education, a nonprofit group focused on a…

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Admissions Leaders Weigh Post-‘Fisher’ Questions

New YorkNeither a victory nor a defeat. That’s how supporters of race-conscious admissions policies have described the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. At the College Board’s annual conference here this week, admissions officials have discussed that ambiguity.

During a session on Fisher, an audience of more than 200 people participated in an on-the-spot survey. Using electronic clickers, they chose responses to statements that appeared on a screen. First, t…

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Quality and Potential in Admissions

Washington — Last week I attended a panel discussion on diversity in higher education sponsored by the Departments of Education and Justice, which issued new guidance on race-conscious admissions policies. The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, federal officials said, affirmed that colleges may consider an applicant’s race, among other factors, without running afoul of the law.

One of the panelists was Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Syracuse University. S…