Improving College Admissions

Improve College Admission, Improve College Admissions, Improving the College Admissions Process

There is an editorial up on “TIME’s” site detailing ways to improve the college admissions process.

There is a piece up on “TIME’s” website entitled “5 Ways to Fix College Admissions” written by Eliana Dockterman that contains some interesting points. For starters, Dockterman argues that colleges should stop misleading students about their chances of earning admission. We don’t disagree one bit! Highly selective colleges encourage anyone with a pulse to apply for the more students who apply, the lower their admission rate will be and the better that school will rank in the all-important “US News & World Report” ranking. But this is an old point, Dockterman raises. We’d be more interested in seeing a solution to disincentive unqualified students from applying to highly selective colleges.

Dockterman also argues that there should be more educated school counselors at high schools across America to help their students navigate the college admissions process. We don’t disagree one bit and we’ve been saying it for years. There is a shortage of folks who actually understand how the college admissions process works. Many school counselors / guidance counselors aren’t experts on college admissions. Maybe they pursued that line of work to help kids suffering from depression. You get the idea. As stated by Dockterman in her piece, “An even bigger problem is college counselors with too little training. Often, overloaded counselors will point students in the direction of a school that many of their peers are applying to but ignore lesser-known schools far away from their home state.” We agree.

Dockterman points out that success in life doesn’t depend on where you attend college. To make this case, she states, “Studies show that where you go to college doesn’t matter much. What matters is how hard you work once you get there. A 1999 study by economists Alan Krueger and Stacy Berg Dale followed college graduates on their career paths. All the students in the study had been accepted to elite schools, but half had chosen to go to a ‘moderately selective’ school instead. Kreuger and Dale found that the earnings of the two groups 20 years after graduation barely differed. A larger study from 2011 came to a similar conclusion: graduates of state schools were making as much as those of Ivy League schools.” It should be noted that there’s plenty of data — including data we’ve cited before — to absolutely counter this point. This data in fact says just the opposite.

Anyhow, what do you think needs to be done to improve the college admissions process? Let us know your thoughts by posting below. We’re curious to hear what you’ve got to say about improving college admissions!


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  • Kristen Senior says:

    How about improving the relationship between school counselors and independent college counselors?

  • Karrie Shroyer says:

    I find that too many students and families do not think about college admissions until it is nearly too late: winter of their junior year. By then their cake is baked as far as classes taken, GPA, even time to take tests and then improve them significantly.

    If students/families started considering colleges earlier, they might take different classes, take language longer, take admissions tests earlier (to see their score) and then work to improve them. It could help motivate students all the way through high school.

    Also, actually considering different colleges earlier is little more like dreaming and therefore easier to consider schools further away, more expensive, etc. Reality isn’t right around the corner yet. But once the different schools are “dreamed about” it is easier to become reality.

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