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Changes in College Admissions Following the Scandal

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Changes in College Admissions Following the Scandal

UCLA Powell Library. Creative Commons Photo: Ithmus on Flickr.

UCLA Powell Library. Creative Commons Photo: Ithmus on Flickr.

UCLA Powell Library. Creative Commons Photo: Ithmus on Flickr.

UCLA Powell Library. Creative Commons Photo: Ithmus on Flickr.

Ella Hartmanis, Staff Writer

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The recent college admissions scandal has raised questions concerning the future of the college admissions process. Although nothing is certain, many schools, including the University of California system, are looking to making significant changes to their process.

In recent years, the number of applications that admissions counselors evaluate has increased dramatically, forcing them to spend less time looking at each application; therefore, raising the probability of false information or embellishment going unnoticed, according to The Atlantic Monthly. Some of the Menlo faculty shared their thoughts on this issue. “Colleges were able to rest on that kids are being honest and haven’t needed to circle back to check before,” said Director of College Counseling Matt Mettille. Now, colleges are no longer able to trust applicants’ information, and this scandal has brought that to light. “Human nature is that people lie and cheat and steal, and [colleges] are going to get in a situation where they can’t […] rely on people just to be trustworthy,” said Upper School Director John Schafer. Due to this dishonesty, many selective schools, especially schools associated with the indictments, will likely tighten their admissions processes so no major slip-ups happen again, hurting the reputation of their school.

A large number of the families named in the indictment were from California so, after the indictment was released, the UC system president Janet Napolitano requested a review of their admissions process in order to look for weak spots and areas for improvement. The UC then reached out to the College Board to explore possible reforms that could ensure the legitimacy of applicants SATs and ACTs or use of the tests at public schools in California. “We’ve known for years that the SAT can be gamed legally by the wealthy. There are huge wealth advantages through the SAT prep industry, as well as documented cultural biases,” said California State Assembly Member Kevin McCarty.

A special admit is an applicant who may not meet the university admissions requirements due to a disability, grades, or something else; however, they may be otherwise qualified, like sports, and request special consideration for admissions.  McCarty proposed a bill that requires special admits applications to be reviewed by at least three college officials in order to ensure the legitimacy of their application. This is a stretch, considering the number of applications that admissions already has to look through and the lack of time they have. Another bill which forbids preferential admissions to applicants with family connections to the school was proposed by Assembly Member Phil Ting; however, this could be difficult since some families are large donors to the schools and expect the donations they have made to be taken into account when their child is applying to college.

These are all possibilities for change; however, there have been no evident changes yet due to the fact that, currently, the college admissions process for this coming school year is mostly over.

 

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