Do SAT scores matter anymore? Will asking for financial aid hurt your chances? And does everyone get a fair shot? As application season kicks into high gear, Steve Cohen offers three hard truths about getting in this year in his column in The Daily Beast:
There are too many bad jokes that begin “The three biggest lies are …” What’s happening in college admissions, however, is no joke. Three big lies are gaining traction with families as they embark on this year’s tougher-than-ever college-admissions sweepstakes. Believing some of these lies will cost families money. Others can make the difference between an acceptance and a rejection.
Lie No. 1: Standardized Tests Are Less Important
Colleges today are relying on standardized test scores when making admissions decisions to a far larger degree than they have in years. One reason is that the number of applications at most top colleges is soaring. That’s not because there are more 18-year-olds graduating from high school. It is because more kids are applying to more colleges. And with little increase in the size of their admissions staffs, schools are using SAT and ACT scores to make a fast, easy cut of the applicant pool. Of course, no college is going to admit this. Colleges love a big applicant pool, not just to craft a more attractive class but to show the ranking services just how selective they are. (In the perverse rankings world, more rejections equal a higher ranking.) Instead, colleges are using several forms of numbers subterfuge to obfuscate what is really going on.
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