Didn't the extracurricular thing originally develop early in the last century because the ivies wanted to keep the "Jewish swots" from being admitted in large numbers? I think I once read something to that effect. They overwhelmingly brought the better academic credentials with them but at least country clubs could be relied on to keep them out of tennis and riding lessons. Officially, admission officials talked about leadership, though. These days, the disadvantaged ethnic group would probably Asian kids.

My home state (I live in Europe) started introducing interviews as assessment criterion about a decade ago for high level public sector jobs (entrance for which had until that time been determined exclusively by standardized exam grades) when women began to outperform men on the exams and would have had to be recruited in larger numbers than men. (Not that they had been bothered about gender equality in the 200 years before that). Officially, of course, it was all about character and personality being important for leadership in the administrative and justice sector blah blah blah.

My point being (yes, I do have a point and I'm coming to it) the same as 22B - that if you introduce fuzzy admission criteria on purpose, they purpose is not usually the one that is being brought forth officially. If you want to distinguish by academic ability, use a criterion that actually measures academic ability and does not enable covert selection for SES, ethnicity or gender.

Last edited by Tigerle; 09/13/14 11:38 PM.