Tag Archives: college admissions

The college waiting list becoming a grim reality

Read The New College Guide: How to Get In, Get Out, and Get a Job and Never Find Yourself on a college waiting list.

The news was grim in the Boston Globe’s May 2 edition: The college waiting list has become a reality in today’s application process because more students are applying to more schools.

With students applying to so many schools, admission officers have a harder time estimating how many accepted students will enroll.

“Yield” rates can affect a school’s ranking in national publications and even its bond rating. Wait lists are one way to control both.

Last year, 17.7% of high school students applied to more than eight schools. The average percentage of students accepted off wait lists was 25%. At selective schools the percentage is much lower.

The New College GuideAnd even if you get off your first choice school’s wait list, your chances of receiving financial aid decrease. These are not great odds.

If you read and follow the guidelines of The New College Guide, you will never find yourself on a school’s wait list. You will have done all of the work before you apply to “match” your chances of admission with your college preferences. So read the first 42 questions in The New College Guide and forget about finding your name on a wait list.

 

The SAT is revised. Is it better? No.

Even with revisions, the SAT remains a seriously flawed – and therefore poor – indicator of college aptitude and qualification.

The first Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT,  was administered in June, 1926.  Students had 97 minutes to answer 315 questions.  For almost 90 years, the results of what most educational experts believe is a flawed test, have dominated admission applications and decisions.

Recently the College Board announced that it is altering the exam to include the following changes:

  • The mandatory essay has been eliminated.
  • A perfect score is 1600.
  • Changes in some sections of the advanced mathematics part of the exam have been eliminated. 
  • Obscure vocabulary words have been replaced.

Regardless of the suggested changes, the SAT remains a controversial exam. The poorest test takers score 400 points lower than richer students. The rich can pay for expensive test prep courses; the poor cannot.  Critics claim that this makes it relatively easy to game the system.

For too many years the most elite colleges and universities have used the exam to eliminate applicants with low SAT scores.  

  • Is there a connection between SAT scores and college rankings?
  • Has the exam become another “gatekeeper?”
  • How many college presidents and boards of trustees pressure enrollment management and admission deans to improve the average SAT scores of the next incoming class?
  • How many college presidents and boards of trustees examine, after one year, the grade point averages of the freshmen who entered with high SAT scores and those who did not?  
  • How many presidents and board of trustees examine the SAT scores of graduating seniors?

The New College GuideCritics of the exam, me included, believe that a better way to measure the academic competency of applicants is to examine their four year high school grades and progression. No one’s academic career should be judged by the results of one exam on one specific day.

The New College Guide: How to Get In, Get out, and Get a Job recommends: 

  • Investigate the hundreds of colleges and universities who are SAT-optional.

Marguerite talks college admissions with St. Joseph’s College television

Marguerite Dennis explains to St. Joseph’s College Telecare TV network Transforming Communities how to demystify college admissions.

The show, hosted by Theresa LaRocca-Meyer, Vice President for Enrollment Management at St. Joseph’s, and Gigi Lamens, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, will be replayed several times on St. Joseph’s Telecare cable network.

The interview is part of Marguerite’s book tour for The New College Guide: How to Get In, Get Out and Get a Job. And, through the good graces of St. Joseph’s and Telecare Television, we have the full interview here (feel free to share it with your friends):