Here is the problem with the college-admissions system. It is a vast and intricate bureaucracy designed to do one thing, and it does that very well; but it is under intense social and economic pressure to do something different—something more or less directly at odds with its supposed goal. The resulting tensions affect everyone involved: The high school guidance counselors who try to steer students toward the right school. The college admissions officers who sort through ever mounting piles of applications to choose an entering class. The college administrators who wonder how many of those accepted will enroll—and how many of them will need financial aid. The parents who contemplate what will be (after housing) the second largest financial outlay of their lives...
The New College Chaos
College admissions officers say they now have many, many more applications than they know how to handle—and, often, less reliable information to help them decide which students to admit
by James Fallows
The Late-Decision Program
Most people have heard of early-decision programs. But there's also a little-known safety net at the other end of the process, to catch those who don't get in anywhere
by V. V. Ganeshananthan
What Makes a College Good?
A new survey seeks to get beyond the well-publicized—and much criticized—college rankings and measure schools by how good a job they do of actually educating their students
by Nicholas Confessore
The Selectivity Illusion
Look at the data closely, and the neat hierarchy of selectivity begins to fall apart
by Don Peck
The Bias Question
In a surprising challenge to the SAT's reputation as an unbiased measure of student learning, one researcher has argued that blacks do better than matched-ability whites on the harder questions of the SAT—something he believes their scores should reflect
by Jay Mathews
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