We’ve got some historic college admissions PR for our readers. There’s an article in “The Chicago Maroon” today entitled “College admissions more selective in ’88” that is a total throwback college admissions article. And it’s not even Throwback Thursday! We’re a little confused by the article in that the paper notes, “This article was originally published on February 14, 1969 and was re-printed on February 18, 2014 as part of the Maroon’s historical issue.” But the article is discussing the 1988-1989 academic year. So we have a feeling the 1969 piece of information is a mistake unless they were forecasting the future with Michael J. Fox back then.
What we wanted to draw your attention to is how similar this article on the 1988-1989 admissions cycle reads to current articles on the admissions process. The only thing that is strikingly different is the choice of language in the quotes by administrators to the media and such. For instance, in this throwback article, look at how students who need financial aid are described: “Director of College Aid Alicia Reyes said that she does not yet have complete information on the financial aid situation of the prospective students, since some forms from the College Scholarship Service have been delayed and some students are still applying for financial aid. But she said that the incoming class is ‘similar to the current freshman class. There are not many more needy students.'” “Needy students!” That kind of language would never be given to the press today.
And how about this one: “‘Perhaps next year’s class is better in some ways,’ said O’Neill. ‘Maybe they’re a little more active, more accomplished. But basically they’re like the students we’ve previously admitted.'” No college would ever say they’re “basically like the students we’ve previously admitted.” And maybe they’re a bit “more active”? That would never come out of the mouth of an admissions or financial aid officer of a university. Also, take a look at how African American students admitted to the University of Chicago are described in the article as well as the male to female ratio of the incoming class. Things have changed…for the better!