This month marks two years since we started the conversation about the college admissions process by hosting the Rethinking Admissions conference at Wake Forest.  Since then, we have continued the conversation here on this blog, and many others have joined in the debate.

The latest example took place at the University of Southern California’s Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice (CERPP). At a three-day meeting, “The Case for Change in College Admissions,”  a host of experts weighed in on what’s wrong with the current system and how it might be improved. Here are some views from a cross-section of participants:

“The admissions arms race we were talking about a decade ago continues to accelerate relentlessly and it’s possibly unstoppable…we’ve gotten to the point where we define the quality of an educational institution by how many applicants it turns away, which, when you think about it, is pretty weird.”

Andrew Delbanco, Director of American Studies, Columbia University

“If we want to craft a class that is as diverse as we will be in 2023, we need to make big changes.”

William G. Tierney, Professor of Higher Education, University of Southern California

“The battle for America is going to be fought in the public schools of the world. America either rises or falls to the extent we’re able to tap the talents of students in all of society rather than just the white, the privileged, the few.”

William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions, Harvard University

“We are looking for diversity in the presence of equity, and opportunity in the presence of excellence.”

John Slaughter, Former President, Occidental College

“This meeting gives me hope that we might work together to develop different tools and practices to help colleges manage enrollment in the public interest.”

Lloyd Thacker, Executive Director, Education Conservancy