We’ve got some news for students at Stanford University. Have you been curious for a while what admissions officers had to say about your candidacy to The Farm? If that’s the case, you’re curiosity can indeed be satiated…at least a little. As a “Forbes” piece entitled “Wow, College Applicants Can Now Find Out What Admissions Committees Wrote About Them” written by Troy Onink points out, “Students at Stanford University were able to follow a ‘tried and tested’ five-step process published by Fountain Hopper, an anonymous student-run website at Stanford, to legally obtain their college admissions records. Fountain Hopper’s simple five-step process (they even have a a pre-populated template to submit your request) is based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which mandates that schools must provide students access to their educational records. This means that students can now find out what admissions committees wrote about them and their applications for admission, including numerical values placed on applicant personality rankings, evaluation of student academic records and more.”
We’d be curious to see if this spreads to other schools outside of Palo Alto, but it’s not really all that useful to students…unless they’re considering transferring and using the same kinds of essays that they used when they first applied for undergraduate admission. When it’s useful is right after students are either deferred or denied admission in the Early Decision or Early Action round. It’s when we do post-mortem evaluations, when we evaluate students’ applications for admission and let them know why they were deferred or denied in the hope that they can avoid such mistakes in the Regular Decision round. Finding out once a student is already enrolled in college is kind of useless, we’d argue. But it’s pretty cool nonetheless.
What do you think about new development at Stanford? Do you think it will soon be available at other highly selective colleges? Do you think students and parents have a right to this information through FERPA? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.