In an age when reality television and social media provide unprecedented access toward fulfilling virtually all areas of human curiosity, the college admissions process remains, in large part, shrouded in secrecy. There are rarely, if ever, exposés about this industry (yes – industry, as it has become) or even a mere behind-the-scenes look into the ways that college admissions officers go about making decisions. For as forthright and transparent as many colleges believe their admissions brochures and websites appear, there is still a great deal of uncertainty for prospective students and parents as to what the entire process entails.
So Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president for enrollment management at De Paul University, has some ideas. And they’re radical.
The central focus behind these ideas is to make the college admissions process more easily navigable for all parties involved. He proposes a national database to which prospective students and colleges subscribe whereby each could select matches according to certain criteria. The colleges’ criteria would be listed publicly so that students would have more realistic expectations about their chances of admission. Obviously, it becomes more difficult when advertising and matching for the “intangible” attribute students possess.
Boeckensted’s point is that the college admissions process needs change and that change must be drastic to have any realized effect. If we agree that the system is “broken” then we should all be encouraged to continue “rethinking admissions.”
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