In light of recent demonstrations held by high school students advocating for gun reform, Stanford has assured current and future applicants that the University will not consider students’ choice to participate in protests during the application review process.
Stanford sees applicant pools of 40,000 or more. more than 5.07% of applicants have SAT scores in the 2200-2400 range student, so the 2000 or so who make the final cut must have done something exceptional other than receiving a perfect SAT score to make themselves stand out. Stanford has the opportunity to be the first elite institution to formally eliminate the SAT from its admissions considerations and inspire others leaders in higher education to follow. Without SAT scores, higher education could return its focus on identifying true, deep, and brilliant thinkers and developing them to their fullest potential instead of rewarding the most “excellent sheep.”
Across the country, admissions rates are low and declining, a fact that compels students to apply to even more schools. And ironically, rational decisions on the part of students make admission rates fall even more, a downward spiral that at times seems to overshadow the very universities the application process is supposed to serve.
This year, Stanford admitted 725 prospective freshmen from a restrictive early action pool of 6,103 students, the largest in the school’s history.
The moment I started going to Stanford though, all this changed. Suddenly, people at parties would approach my parents, slowly broach the topic of Stanford in order to confirm that I do indeed go there and then shift over to me while shouting, “You must meet my son/daughter/offspring/pet! They’re applying to Stanford!”
The editorial in The Stanford Daily of May 6, 2011 is correct in pointing out that alumni interviews of prospective students may not add to the information that the Admission Office already has. However, it misses the point when it states that the interviews may be detrimental to disadvantaged candidates who may not be as “poised” as those from more privileged backgrounds.
Admission criteria to Harvard University in 1869 included command of Latin subjunctive, facility with cube roots and recall of major river basins and the history of Pharsalia — apparently a province of ancient Greece. The rigid, well-defined admission procedures of the 19th-century have given way to a more flexible contemporary framework for evaluation that allows consideration of non-academic ability, socioeconomic background and interpersonal skills. The Alumni Interview Pilot Program purports to offer Stanford Admission a window into these intangible qualities and enhance its ability to holistically appraise applicants. However, on balance the program will be marginally effective at best, discriminatory at worst and probably not worth the effort to fully implement.
Six days ahead of schedule, the Office of Undergraduate Admission offered spots for this fall to 2,300 applicants, marking a record-low 7.2 percent admit rate from a total pool of 32,022 applicants.