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    "Swots" in that message refers to students who study a lot. "Colin is such a swot," or "I can't go to the pub; I have to swot for exams next week." The implication is that study is most important.

    Last edited by Val; 09/14/14 12:20 PM.
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    Wren, i was thinking of Asian American kids who may come up against hidden quotas these days as they out score Americans of all other ethnicities, sort of like it's mentioned in the thread about TJ high school, where the academic admission criteria have come under criticism because of the large Asian American intake. Or a Chinese American friend who told me that being Chinese American she would have to score higher on the MCAT than applicants from other ethnicities in order to gain a place in the med schools she wanted, as schools had to make sure their intake wasn't overwhelmingly Asian american. (She may or may not have been right about that, but the discrimination threat was putting her under a lot of stress.)

    To answer your point, I think a university is perfectly entitled to have a quota for international admissions, but without racial or ethnic bias, same as for its national admissions. Small EU countries are struggling with this, as public universities are not legally allowed to discriminate against nationals from other EU countries, unless they can prove this might (in the case of med schools, for instance) actually endanger the functioning of their health care system...

    Last edited by Tigerle; 09/14/14 01:14 PM.
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    Asians do need to score higher on the SAT than whites and others. Before the SAT changed from the 1600 point to 2400 point scale, there was a study that admitted Asians scored 50 points higher than whites. (I have read that Asians need to score 140 points more than whites today on the 2400 scale - maybe things have become more difficult for Asians.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action_in_the_United_States

    Look under Bias against Asians and whites - note that the guy Thomas Espenshade is a Princeton professor.

    Many of the US elite colleges have very large endowments and offer great aid to those admitted. While some schools take need into consideration during admissions, there are many top schools that do not (not for US citizens anyway; story can be different for internationals).


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    I know I'm joining the discussion late, but I'm curious about what others think of the Steven Pinker article mentioned several posts back http://www.newrepublic.com/article/...should-judge-students-standardized-tests

    Although ONLY using standardized tests might be problematic, I think he raises some great points that would challenge the variability in the selection process.

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    Originally Posted by Tigerle
    Thanks, that must have been the publication I read the article about when it first came out.

    A comparable piece of hypocrisy would be the practice of gapping, where colleges admit students on the basis of academic merit, but then discourage low SES students from attending by cutting down the financial aid offered to an amount that makes attendance financially unfeasible for them
    For most things you buy, including big-ticket items like homes, the seller quotes you a price and is not obliged to finance your purchase. If a college thinks someone is academically qualified, is it obliged to either reject them or meet the full financial need? Some colleges choose to do so (although when need can be met by loans, the definition of "meeting need" is fuzzy), but I don't think not doing so is shameful.

    Some commentators will call gapping unfair. Schools that don't gap will charge very different prices to students from families at different income levels, and the parents paying full freight may consider that unfair, since it does not cost more to educate their children. There are multiple plausible definitions of fairness.

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    Selective colleges want to admit students who will be successful after college, so that they can donate large sums and bring honor to the college. They want to admit future Nobel prize winners but also future presidents and CEOs.

    A recent paper found that It’s Never Been More Lucrative to Be a Math-Loving People Person. Therefore selective colleges value "leadership".

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    Parents who spend a good chunk of the week shuttling kids to and from soccer practice or drama club might be comforted by new research that suggests this effort is not in vain – as long as their kids are good at math, too.

    A recent paper from UCSB found that the return on being good at math has gone up over the last few decades, as has the return on having high social skills (some combination of leadership, communication, and other interpersonal skills). But, the paper argues, the return on the two skills together has risen even faster.

    What does all that have to do with soccer practice? The research compared two groups of white, male U.S. high school seniors – the class of 1972 and the class of 1992 – to see how earnings associated with social and math skills have changed over time. Using two National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) surveys, it looked at senior year math scores on standardized tests, questions about extracurricular participation and leadership roles, and individual earnings seven years after graduating high school. And it corroborated the findings with Census and CPS data.

    The analysis found that while math scores, sports, leadership roles, and college education were all associated with higher earnings over the 1979-1999 period, the trend over time in the earnings premium was strongest among those who were both good at math and engaged in high school sports or leadership activities. In other words, it pays to be a sociable math whiz, more so today than thirty years ago.

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    Originally Posted by Bostonian
    Some commentators will call gapping unfair. Schools that don't gap will charge very different prices to students from families at different income levels, and the parents paying full freight may consider that unfair, since it does not cost more to educate their children. There are multiple plausible definitions of fairness.

    Please note that I did not call it unfair. I called it hypocrisy! Gapping lets colleges call thir admission system needs blind, pretending they do not care about how much parents can pay, while engineering the actual intake via the fiancial aid office.
    It is not fair to have a student depend on his parents for college admission anyway - which is why I am a big fact of schemes like graduate taxes - an additional percentage of your income tax as soon as income reaches a certain threshold,one year for each semester. And those schools who prepare their kids well for the workplace can really rake it in then.

    there are so many tangible and intagible benefits high SES status parent can confer on their kids, should there really be such crude buyer advantages in higher education? Why should a less gifted kid have an advantage in an educational decision over a more gifted kid because he or she happnes to be born to richer parents? Private colleges, not subsidized by taxpayer money, are perfectly in the right to do so of course - it is the hypocrisy about it I decry.

    Last edited by Lewis; 09/15/14 08:31 AM.
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    Originally Posted by 22B
    I'm trying to understand how and why "elite" colleges (not necessarily just Ivies) select students to admit using not just academics, but also "Extra-Curriculars" (ECs)... I'd specifically like to hear actionable information and actual experiences.
    The definitions of actionable include:
    1. giving sufficient reason to take legal action, for example a lawsuit against a school which did not grant a student admission.
    2. able to be done or acted on; having practical value, for example coaching a student about academics/extracurriculars to increase likelihood of admission to an elite or ivy league school.

    Which type of "actionable information" have you been seeking with this thread?

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    Originally Posted by indigo
    Originally Posted by 22B
    I'm trying to understand how and why "elite" colleges (not necessarily just Ivies) select students to admit using not just academics, but also "Extra-Curriculars" (ECs)... I'd specifically like to hear actionable information and actual experiences.
    The definitions of actionable include:
    1. giving sufficient reason to take legal action, for example a lawsuit against an school which did not grant a student admission.
    2. able to be done or acted on; having practical value, for example coaching a student about academics/extracurriculars to increase likeliness for admission to an elite or ivy league school.

    Which type of "actionable information" have you been seeking with this thread?

    I'll take #1, since I work with it on a daily basis.

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    Tigerle, I suspect that hypocrisy is one of the Soft Skills that was mentioned earlier.



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