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Earlier this week, I pondered why so many colleges apply a double standard when it comes to prior learning credits or credit by examination. They’ll gladly accept AP or CLEP, but they’ll turn up their noses at dual-enrollment classes. I asked my wise and worldly readers if there was a defensible reason.

The consensus response, by a long shot, was no.

One respondent noted that it’s hard to attribute really solid reasoning when the rationales offered vary so widely. I had to agree.

Another suggested that the more egalitarian profile of dual enrollment -- it’s often used to promote educational equity -- works against its prestige. I’ve heard similar comments about AP as it has become more common. To the extent that certain kinds of exams were about signaling status, ubiquity works against them.

To the extent that the ostensible objection is the building in which the classes are taught, one savvy reader noted the belief in the “gestalt” of the “college experience.” Well, OK, but wouldn’t that count against CLEP, too? And AP?

The double standard doesn’t even have convincing fig leaves at this point. It’s time we call it out.


Speaking of exams, The Boy registered for the MCAT this week.

I’m both proud and utterly at a loss to explain where the time went.


The Girl captured the difference in writing styles within the family:

“You write to be spoken, I write to be read and TB writes to be seen.”

She went on to explain that my writing sounds pretty much like someone talking. Her writing assumes close attention to the written word. TB’s reads like a screenplay, with vivid visuals.

I couldn’t have said, or written, it better.


Along those lines, she just finished her Common App college application essay. That’s the essay that every school will see. Each school has its own, more idiosyncratic essays as well. This is the general purpose essay.

I’ll note three things for the record.

First, it’s excellent. Yes, I’m biased, but I’ve read enough undergraduate prose to have a sense of it. I wanted to applaud at the end. TW actually had tears.

Second, TG wrote it entirely herself. She wouldn’t show it to me until it was finished. It’s far better than I could have done, anyway. The voice is uniquely hers.

Finally, I’m actually jealous of the others in the room who see the look on the face of the admissions rep who first reads it. They’re in for a treat.


Finally, my condolences to the family of Jason Schroder, who died suddenly a few weeks ago. (I only found out this week.) We had lost touch years ago, but in college, we became sparring partners of a sort. His politics and mine were pretty far apart, but we had similar senses of humor, and I think each of us recognized a worthy opponent. We used to spend hours verbally jousting, each of us a good enough sport to recognize a zinger well zung.

He left behind his wife and three children.

He was one of the funnier people I’ve known, and his personal kindness was obvious and instinctive. My life was better because he was in it. A tip o’ the cap.

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