I was in a fascinating and scary meeting today. A company has developed a REALLY elaborate computer program that can be used to decide which students should get into college.
The idea is that there are, of course, way more qualified applicants at highly competitive schools than there are spaces. Many colleges have moved to a method called “holistic admissions,” which is code for considering everything that you can on an applicant. It includes essays, recommendations, and extra-curriculars, but also, at times, income level, ethnicity, or location, just to name a few.
While admissions officers like to talk about how we read every scrap of paper in an application in great detail, and some even brag about multiple readers, all of that effort gets expensive. So along comes this new program that will take GPA, SAT, and data on everything else and run it through a program for the schools preferences (I want 50 architecture students, and we want more students that dye their hair blue!) and select the right students to admit.
I’m still pretty skeptical, most of all that it will save time or money. After all, someone still has to evaluate the essays and recommendations, IF the school is really going to take all of that information into account. There are schools, however, that are using the program for next year! So you can rest assured that at a few schools your application will be carefully evaluated..BY ROBOTS!!! Just kidding…mostly. Be seeing you.