Tuesday, May 26, 2015

College Admissions, Frozen in Time

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 26th, 2015

Let’s consider, just for a minute, the toad. Go on, imagine one sitting right there, all lumpy and leathery-skinned. To understand the college-admissions process, flawed and often frustrating, it helps to ponder this awkward amphibian.
Don’t just take my word for it, take B. Alden Thresher’s. In his 1966 book, College Admissions and the Public Interest, the longtime director of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argued that predicting which students will succeed is imprecise work. After all, colleges know only so much about a given applicant’s potential. Mr. Thresher summed up the profession’s limitations in a sentence: "One cannot tell by looking at a toad how far he will jump."

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