The Today.com article by Scott Stump titled “New Harvard report proposes major changes to college admissions” describes a new report sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education that recommends major changes in the college application process including lessening reliance on standardized testing.
Stump’s article lists the following recommend changes:
- De-emphasize standard testing, which could include making the SAT and ACT optional.
- Quality over quantity with extracurricular activities and advanced placement classes, with students showing sustained commitment to a community service rather than just listing a bunch of things they have done.
- Factor in family and community responsibilities to level the playing field in admissions by capturing the contributions of low-income and working-class students.
- Include an essay question on college applications for students to write about their contributions to their families and others.
- Broaden criteria to include public service that consistently contributes to the common good as part of the admissions process instead of just “brag sheets” listing two-week community service projects.
- Widen the net by emphasizing a good fit for each student rather than the notion that there are only a few elite colleges that matter.
Because of my coaching work with high school students applying to college and my subsequent writing of the book HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE, I found this report’s recommendations very exciting.
In my guide for students I emphasize following your passion. This translates into in-depth extracurricular activities rather than a laundry list of activities.
And I also talk about using your job experiences — especially if you need to contribute to your family’s income — as possible material for college application essays.
While Stump cautions that any changes may not take affect for two or three years, this news is very encouraging for students of all backgrounds when applying to college.
© 2016 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. Phyllis is available by skype for book group discussions and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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