Boston University has demonstrated the success of "holistic" admissions for medical school, according an analysis published in The New England Journal of Medicine.  Under such admissions, grades and test scores aren't accorded the same dominant role they have traditionally played in admissions decisions, and factors such as empathy, strength of character and cultural sensitivity receive more attention. At BU's medical school, such a policy was adopted in 2009. As officials had hoped, the new approach led to more diversity in the class -- with the percentage of underrepresented minority students increasing from 11 to 20 percent. But the article noted that traditional measures also showed gains. The average college grade-point average has increased from 3.57 to 3.66, and the average score on the Medical College Admission Test increased from 31.68 to 33.62.