Thursday, September 14, 2006

Improving College Admissions

David Bell, a humanities professor at Johns Hopkins, makes an intriguing suggestion:

Yet if Harvard really wants to do something to make admissions fairer, it should consider doing away with the most inane and manipulable part of the present process: the application essay....the application essay has been corrupted from another direction: by wealthy parents who hire consultants for tens of thousands of dollars to game the system, "advising" students on their essays (i.e. writing them), and also arranging for just the right range of activities and "experiences" to make the essays compelling to admissions officers.
I have never sat on an admissions committee, but I have long wondered how much information such essays can really convey.