Category Archives: Admissions

Who gets in, who doesn’t, and why.

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Chicago State U. Enrolls Just 86 Freshmen This Fall

Chicago State University enrolled just 86 freshmen this fall semester, and its undergraduate enrollment has dropped by 32 percent over the past year, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The university now has 3,578 students, and total enrollment is down by a quarter. This is just one of the many concerns for the struggling public university.

Just this month its president, Thomas J. Calhoun Jr., was let go after only nine months at the helm.

Chicago State has struggled to make it through the Illinois bu…

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High-School Grades Still Count Most in College Admissions

Academic performance in high school remains the top-ranked factor in college-admissions decisions on prospective first-time freshmen, according to a new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

In its latest State of College Admission report, the association says that grades in college-preparatory courses were rated as “considerably important” by about 80 percent of institutions it surveyed. Grades in all courses, the strength of the curriculum, and admissions-test …

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NYU Begins Ignoring Common App’s Questions on Criminal Records

New York University has begun ignoring the checkbox questions about criminal and disciplinary history on the Common Application, the institution announced on Monday.

The university has added narrower questions to its own section of the application that ask applicants if they have been convicted of or disciplined for violent offenses, but answering “yes” to the new questions will not mean an automatic rejection of an application for admission, according to a news release.

The university announced

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Fafsa Changes May Prompt Colleges to Shift Admissions Cycles Earlier

A new study has found that more than two-thirds of colleges plan to make significant changes in the enrollment process because of new rules taking effect this fall for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the Fafsa. The new policies, championed by President Obama, will allow applicants to submit the Fafsa as early as October and use tax data from two years prior, known as “prior-prior year” data. (Until now, students could use tax data only from the previous year.)

Those altera…

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U. of California Increases In-State Admissions

The University of California system has increased offers of admission to California applicants by more than 15 percent for the coming fall semester, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The rise in in-state admissions comes a few months after a state audit found the system enrolled too many out-of state students. Critics said the system’s admissions policy favored out-of-state and international students because they paid higher tuition rates than did their in-state counterparts.

The audit fou…

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ACT Will Change Scoring Scale for Writing Test

The ACT plans to change the score range for the optional writing test on its college-entrance examination, the organization announced on Tuesday. Starting this fall, the writing test will be scored on a 2-to-12 scale. The writing test itself will not change, according to a news release.

Last year the ACT revised the writing test, and students began receiving results on the same 1-to-36 scale used on the multiple-choice exam. But the change caused confusion, ACT officials say. “Converting the …

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Why Twitter Is Calling Abigail Fisher ‘Becky With the Bad Grades’: A Brief Explainer

After the Supreme Court upheld the use of race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin in a 4-to-3 decision on Thursday morning, Twitter did what Twitter does best: generated a pop-culture mashup.

The hashtag #BeckyWithTheBadGrades started trending. It refers both to Abigail N. Fisher, the white female student who sued to overturn the university’s affirmative-action policy after she was denied admission, and to a Beyoncé lyric from the song “Sorry” off her most recent album, Le…

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3 Key Takeaways From the Supreme Court’s Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions

To many observers, the Supreme Court’s 4-to-3 decision on Thursday that upheld the use of race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin came as a surprise.

Even inside the court, it seems: “Something strange has happened,” wrote Justice Samuel A. Alito in the first line of his dissent, “since our prior decision in this case.” In 2013 the court ruled that a lower court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, had not applied enough scrutiny to Austin’s admissions program…

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Supreme Court Upholds Use of Race-Conscious Admissions at U. of Texas

[Updated (6/23/2016, 12:42 p.m.) with reactions.]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, putting an apparent end to one of the most closely watched cases in higher education.

Read the opinion.

The plaintiff in the case, Abigail N. Fisher, had accused the Austin campus in 2008 of discriminating against her after she was denied admission. She subsequently graduated from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge.

The 4-to-3…

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ACT Plans Center to Help Underserved Students Succeed in College and Work Force

These days, everyone’s talking about “equity,” and now a testing company has affixed the word to a new effort. The company behind the ACT on Wednesday announced plans for a Center for Equity in Learning, which will focus on helping underserved students succeed in college and the work force.

At a news conference in Washington, officials from ACT Inc., in Iowa City, said the center would conduct research on — and develop strategies for — closing achievement gaps. The center plans to collaborat…