Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My new favorite college

Hampshire College in Massachusetts stopped taking applicants test scores. This is what they do instead...

In our admissions, we review an applicant's whole academic and lived experience. We consider an applicant's ability to present themselves in essays and interviews, review their recommendations from mentors, and assess factors such as their community engagement and entrepreneurism. And yes, we look closely at high school academic records, though in an unconventional manner. We look for an overarching narrative that shows motivation, discipline, and the capacity for self-reflection. We look at grade point average (GPA) as a measure of performance over a range of courses and time, distinct from a one-test-on-one-day SAT/ACT score

So what happened after they instituted this plan? US News and World report banned them from their list and they received fewer applicants. However, they got better applicants, and a much more diverse pool of applicants.

It still wouldn't help my kids ("Write an essay? Awww, c'mon"), but I think it does a better job of identifying truly great candidates.