Kathryn Napper is retiring as dean of undergraduate admissions at George Washington University, after 35 years of work at the institution and one month after the university admitted that, for at least a decade, it had been submitting incorrect data on the high school class rank of its students to U.S. News & World Report for its rankings. An internal announcement of Napper's retirement, effective this month, praised her "loyal and dedicated service," and made no mention of the recent scandal. Napper and GW officials declined to comment on any relationship between her departure and the incorrect rankings data.
In today’s Academic Minute, Jenny Stuber of the University of North Florida explains why students from different socioeconomic backgrounds experience college differently. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
Roger Williams University has announced that it will no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. "While we recognize that standardized tests accurately measure aptitude for many students, there are many others whose talents are not measured by such tests and they can serve as an artificial barrier to many highly qualified students, preventing them from even considering an RWU education," said a statement from the university.
The Common Application has been facing criticism from some high school counselors and college admissions officials over two changes being made: the elimination of a "free choice" essay topic, and an announcement that the essay maximum of 500 words will be strictly enforced. On Tuesday, the Common Application issued a letter defending the changes. The association said that applicants would have five essay prompts "that will allow students to thoughtfully and creatively write about themselves and their interests." The letter predicted that once the prompts are announced, people will see that applicants have plenty of options. On the length limit, the Common Application noted that colleges can (and some do) have applicants fill out supplemental forms, with essays of whatever length is acceptable to the colleges. The letter notes that Common Application members have varying ideas about essay length, but that some institutions lack the resources to review long essays or see longer essays as "a hurdle for applicants."
Reports have been circulating in China that the government may impose new rules on agents who recruit students for colleges in the United States and other countries, Voice of America reported. Increasing numbers of American colleges have been hiring agents, but the use of those paid in part on commission remains highly controversial. Chinese media outlets have recently been reporting on unscrupulous agents who have taken advantage of students.
A survey by the College Board has found that most school counselors do not feel that they have been sufficiently trained in competencies that would allow them to provide the best guidance to students on the college admissions process. Further, a majority of counselors believe that they could do better (in some cases with better training) at such key functions as helping students complete college preparatory courses, increasing college application rates and improving high school graduation rates.