Highlights: fewer colleges meeting targets for this year, a higher bar for Asians, skepticism about new standardized writing tests and a new application, mixed feelings on Hillary Clinton’s college plan and applicants’ criminal records.
"Recruiting International Students" is Inside Higher Ed's new print-on-demand compilation of articles.
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One of the more influential and controversial studies of affirmative action in recent years came from Richard H. Sander in 2004. The law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles analyzed statistics about black law students and argued that they show that affirmative action hurts them by helping many gain admission to institutions where they are unlikely to be top students.
In 2006, the University of California at Los Angeles faced intense criticism when only 2 percent of the students admitted for the freshman class were black. For a decade at that point, UCLA had been operating under a ban on considering race and ethnicity in admissions decisions, but the numbers for black students had not previously been so low.
The average score on the SAT remained steady for the class of 2008 -- with the critical reading (502), mathematics (515) and writing (494) scores all unchanged from last year.
As is typically the case, the College Board said that the results were encouraging. “Student interest and participation in the SAT has grown to historic levels, and our outreach into minority, low-income and other underserved student groups is yielding tremendous results,” said Gaston Caperton, president of the board.
Even though many colleges will boast today about their placement in the annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report, more colleges than ever are declining to participate in the survey that makes up the single largest part of the magazine's formula.