Education Department report urges colleges to reconsider admissions questions on criminal justice

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Education Department urges colleges to rethink whether they should ask applicants about criminal and disciplinary records -- and to be more nuanced when they do so.

Law Deans Defend Arizona's Use of GRE

Nearly 150 deans of law schools have written to the Law School Admission Council to demand that it stop plans to kick out the University of Arizona for that institution's decision to accept the GRE as an admissions test, in addition to accepting the Law School Admission Test. Arizona announced the shift in February, following analysis that found the GRE predicts first-year student performance. That prompted the Law School Admission Council to threaten to kick out Arizona for violating a rule to admit "substantially all" applicants based in part on LSAT scores. The law deans' letter states that the rule should be changed, and that taking action against Arizona denies a law school the right to experiment.

"Experimentation benefits all of us," the letter says. "We all expect to learn from the University of Arizona’s experiment and it should not be punished by LSAC."

The law school council told The New York Times Thursday that it had only sent Arizona "a request for clarification on the law school’s new policy."

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As Physician Shortage Approaches, Medical Schools Expand

Since 2002, U.S. medical school enrollment has increased by 25 percent, according to a new report.

The country is facing a physician shortage, and 10 years ago the Association of American Medical Colleges called for a 30 percent increase in enrollment by 2015.

Now, the AAMC’s new report shows that medical schools are responding: 20 new M.D.-granting medical schools have been established since 2002, and the country should reach the 30 percent benchmark by the 2017-18 academic year.

Across the country, medical schools are also more focused on serving diverse health needs. Last year, 84 percent of medical schools had -- or planned to establish -- policies focused on recruiting diverse students who want to work with underserved populations. Another 49 percent are focusing on students from rural communities.

Colleges of osteopathic medicine are also expanding particularly quickly. Using 2002 as a baseline, first-year enrollment in these institutions is expected to grow by 55 percent by 2020.

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How to avoid bias when reviewing applications (essay)

The application review process can significantly disadvantage applicants from underrepresented groups, writes Jeffrey W. Lockhart. 

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Ripon Drops Admissions Test Requirement

Ripon College has dropped a requirement that all applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. The college says applicants can simply decide for themselves whether to submit scores.

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Common Application and Universal College Application move beyond giving applicants choice of male and female

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Two national applications will offer applicants the chance to move past the traditional gender binary in classifying themselves.

Whittier Goes Test Optional in Admissions

Whittier College has become the latest to drop the requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. The option, however, is only for those with a 3.0 grade point average in high school. Further, those admitted without testing will be required to take a writing proficiency diagnostic exam for placement purposes.

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Report: College Board Recycled SATs

Reuters reported Wednesday that at least five times in the last three years, the College Board gave high school students in the United States versions of the SAT that included questions and answers that had been online for more than a year. The article noted the concern of admissions leaders that the practice raised questions about fairness.

A College Board spokesman declined to comment. But also on Wednesday, Jennifer Karan, executive director of college readiness assessments at the College Board, posted a message to an admissions email list in which she noted that much of the discussion of cheating on the SAT involves the old version of the test. She said that the College Board was working to minimize any unfairness or cheating on the new version of the exam. Karan also wrote that "the vast majority of students work hard, play by the rules and do their best on the SAT and other tests."

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A few dozen members of new admissions coalition don't plan to use its application for the next admissions cycle

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A few dozen members of the coalition of leading colleges that plans to reform college admissions with a new application system this summer don't plan to use it for the next year.

Questions on Leader of Slate of Harvard Board Hopefuls

A slate of candidates for the Harvard Board of Overseers has attracted considerable attention with its campaign to make the university free for undergraduates and its allegations that the current admissions system discriminates against Asian-American applicants. Now the organizer of the slate of candidates -- Ron Unz -- is facing scrutiny for his funding of authors and researchers whose work is viewed by many as bigoted, The Boston Globe reported. For example, Unz gave money to support an author who promotes a theory that a "gay germ" causes homosexuality, and to another author who wrote of how economic populism and "white party" issues could win a candidate the presidency. Unz said he doesn't necessarily agree with the views of the authors he supports, but that he wants to promote "alternative media."

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