Bard College announced Thursday that it will keep an option it introduced last year under which applicants can win admission by submitting four 2,500-word research papers. Those whose papers are judged by the college's faculty members to have produced B+ work or better will be offered admission, without any SAT scores, review of high school transcripts, or teacher recommendations. Bard leaders have said that they want to encourage the evaluation of applicants beyond traditional measures such as test scores and grades. For the class admitted this spring, 41 applicants (out of 7,000) tried the essay approach. Of the 41, 17 were admitted. But Bard introduced the program in September. The new essay topics will be ready in June, giving the next class more time to consider and act on the option.
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