A new Gallup Poll has found that most American adults oppose the consideration of race in admissions decisions. The poll question asked whether "applicants should be admitted solely on the basis of merit, even if that results in few minority applicants being admitted" or "an applicant's racial and ethnic background should be considered to help promote diversity on college campuses, even if that means admitting some minority students who might not otherwise be admitted," a large majority picked the former. There was no racial group for which a majority picked the latter, although more black Americans picked the latter than the former (by a narrow margin).
Here are results:
Solely on Merit
Breakdowns were not provided for Asian Americans.
Inside Higher Ed works with Gallup on a number of survey projects, but played no role in this poll.
Gallup's results mirrored those of a recent poll by The Washington Post-ABC.
Forbes, which this week unveiled its latest college rankings, banished four institutions for two years. The four that will not be eligible for the next two years are Claremont McKenna and Iona Colleges, and Bucknell and Emory Universities -- all of which have admitted to reporting false data in past year to various entities. "As a penalty for their dishonesty – and an acknowledgment of the growing scope of the problem – we are removing the four institutions from our list of the country’s best schools for two years," said an article in the magazine. Of course those are only some of the colleges that have admitted to false reporting in the last 18 months. Michael Noer, executive editor at Forbes, said that some of the other colleges that reported false data didn't do so to Forbes or to data sets used by Forbes. So only those "that lied about data we used" were punished.
A college education has a positive impact for men on health and tends to extend lifespan, according to a new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (summary available here). The study uses data from the enrollment decisions of men during the Vietnam War era, when going to college greatly decreased the odds of one's being drafted, and so encouraged many men who might not have otherwise gone to college to do so. Looking at these cohorts and tracking them over time, the study finds that going to college decreases the odds of morbidity over time. Decreases are noted for college-going men in the rates of cancer and heart disease. Many factors could be at play, the authors note. The men who completed college, for example, were less likely to be smokers and more likely to have health insurance.
The College Board and the Educational Testing Service have invalidated Advanced Placement scores at Mills High School, in California, saying that "seating irregularities" may have resulted in some students gaining an advantage on the test, The Bay Area News Group reported. The College Board and ETS aren't asserting that cheating took place, but that seating for the AP tests did not follow the rules and could have permitted cheating. The AP tests are being rescheduled. Students say that they are all being punished unfairly and that it will be difficult to score as well after their courses have ended. Students have created a website, Why We Need Our Scores Back, about their concerns.
Brandeis University is shifting to a "test flexible" admissions policy. Until now, applicants have been required to submit either SAT or ACT scores. Going ahead, applicants may continue to submit those scores, or may submit other tests or an "enhanced" academic portfolio. Other tests that could be submitted will now include Advanced Placement tests, SAT subject tests or International Baccalaureate exams. Those who do not want to submit standardized tests can submit a sample of analytical writing and an additional teacher recommendation beyond those required already. Brandeis is calling the program a pilot, and will continue to collect traditional standardized test scores -- after admitted applicant decide to enroll -- so the university can study the impact of the new policy.
Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for students and enrollment, said via e-mail that the shift made because "our experience shows that the rigor of a student’s program and overall academic performance are the best indicators of a student’s ability to take on challenges and excel academically."
Saint Joseph's University, in Pennsylvania, announced last week that it will no longer require applicants for admission to submit SAT or ACT scores. John Haller, associate provost for enrollment management, said that the university has found that high school grades (even without standardized test scores) predict first-year student success. “We know there is a population of students with strong academic records in high school who have standardized test score outcomes below our middle 50 percent range who are likely to be successful and difference makers at Saint Joseph’s University,” said a statement from Haller. "There is ample statistical evidence demonstrating that standardized test scores can be shaped by environmental and cultural factors that make them an inaccurate predictor of academic success."
Tufts University is attracting attention for one of its new essay prompts for undergraduate admissions, The Boston Globe reported. The prompt: "The ancient Romans started it when they coined the phrase 'Carpe diem.' Jonathan Larson proclaimed 'No day but today!' and most recently, Drake explained You Only Live Once (YOLO). Have you ever seized the day? Lived like there was no tomorrow? Or perhaps you plan to shout YOLO while jumping into something in the future. What does #YOLO mean to you?"
Loyola University New Orleans becomes the second selective college this summer to announce a major enrollment and budget shortfall. Is it a harbinger of things to come, or just a case of bad enrollment strategy?
A new paper in the journal Academic Medicine questions the validity of the rankings by U.S. News & World Report of primary care programs at medical schools. The study noted that while there is some consistency from year to year, the variability among institutions outside of the top 20 "is greater than could be plausibly attributed to actual changes in training quality. These findings raise questions regarding the ranking's validity and usefulness." Robert Morse, who directs the rankings at U.S. News, said he hadn't seen the research and would need to study it before commenting.