The National Association for College Admissions Counseling, or NACAC, released its annual “State of College Admissions” report. The report is based on a survey of over 2,200 high school counselors and almost 500 college admissions officers. You can read the full report here. It’s worth at least browsing and checking out the charts. Here are my top take-aways for smart, ambitious college-bound high school students.
In the past few weeks I've written about Affirmative Action (I'm not at all against it) and Legacy Admission (I'm not at all against it, either). There's one more admissions policy I'd like to consider, and it's mostly just a hypothetical one: using a lottery to admit qualified students to elite universities.
I spend my time reading and thinking about college admissions from a certain viewpoint--high school students. I rarely think about parents' perspectives or colleges' perspectives. I help out with the demand part of the equation. But what about the supply side? If I could advise colleges to make their search for top-notch students more efficient and effective, what would I tell them? How would I design the college admissions game?
If I could magically change the whole system, I would basically make it a two-cycle year.
Last month I wrote about affirmative action, and now I want to talk about Legacy. Legacy is the practice of a university giving an admissions advantage to children of alumni.
I've seen increased calls to end Legacy lately, and one of the clearest and strongest just appeared. In "Higher Education's Biggest Scam Is Legacy Admissions Policies," Richard D. Kahlenberg looks at three reasons that many colleges cite for their legacy policies and refutes them. Kahlenberg edited a book about Legacy, so he knows what he's talking about.