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."