Many current Georgetown students who haven’t repressed their memories of the college admissions process likely remember being frustrated to some degree by the number of colleges – including Georgetown – that refused to accept the Common Application.
Over the past several years, however, schools such as Brown, UChicago, UVA, Michigan and Columbia have joined the growing number of schools bowing to the pressure to give up signature applications in favor of the universal online application. With USC and Howard joining the pool of Common App schools, the Washington Post‘s Daniel de Vise reports that Georgetown is now the last top tier university refusing to accept the app (de Vise’s headline isn’t technically accurate, since MIT also insists on its own application.) According to Post, USC adopted the application after feedback from college counselors, noting that the Common App can make it easier for disadvantaged students to apply to schools.
However, Georgetown’s dean of admissions Charles Deacon has long been an opponent of the Common App, having previously stated that the App tends to encourage students to spam schools with applications and that the schools are being forced to change their process to keep their application numbers up with other top colleges. The Office of Admissions could not be reached for comment.
In an interview, Deacon argued that forcing schools to adhere to a common application diminishes the personal nature of college selection.
“We do feel that [the Common App] makes applying too easy, too homogenized, and not personalized at all,” Deacon said. “[...] In the end, students are being asked to differentiate and yet the process homogenizes them.” Read the rest of this entry »
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Lee Coffin told the New York Times that he had the idea to let students supplement their admissions essays with videos when he was watching a particularly good YouTube video.
“I thought, ‘If this kid applied to Tufts, I’d admit him in a minute, without anything else,’ ” he said.
Tufts put the word out that applicants could include a one-minute video that “says something about you” (in addition to their answers to some rather outre admissions questions, like, “Are we alone?” and “Create something out of a piece of paper”), and now, over 1,000 out of the 15,000 applicants to Tufts have included videos.
Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Services Robert Chernak told the GW Hatchet that the mistake was the result of a clerical error made when Admissions decided to e-mail instead of mail the packets.
“Executive Dean of Undergraduate Admissions [Kathy Napper] felt that it would be a good idea to send an e-mail to those people who were accepted, that was the theory, for Early Decision II,” he said. “As those instructions went down the chain of command in the admissions office to the operational level, the individual who sent out the e-mail… touched the wrong button on the list.”
“This afternoon, you received an email from me titled ‘Important GW Information.’ Unfortunately, this email was sent to you in error,” the Office of Undergraduate Admissions wrote in apology, “We are truly sorry for this confusion regarding your application to GW.”
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is investigating whether colleges are giving men—who are making up a smaller and smaller portion of the higher education population across the nation—a leg up over women in their admissions processes, or giving them more generous aid packages to try to encourage them to attend in higher numbers.
According to the Washington Post, on Wednesday, federal civil rights commissioners voted to subpoena records from 19 Washington-area schools for their investigation—and that includes Georgetown University.
The school is not being fingered as a perpetrator of admissions discrimination. Rather, the commissioners are selecting colleges that will give them a “representative example of higher education nationally.”
Vox has been trying to get numbers on Georgetown’s admissions rates by gender for the last week or so, ever since it saw this opinion piece in USA Today, “Why men warrant a break on college admissions“—take a gander and let us know if you think that failing to give preferential treatment to men “would threaten the diversity that defines our world-class higher education system.”
We’ve been unsuccessful in getting those numbers so far, but we’ll post them when we get a hold of them.
Photo from Flickr user CarbonNYC under a creative commons license
The perfect Post columnist to have love-hate relationship with
There’s some good news and some bad news for Georgetown in Jay Mathews’ recent Washington Post column. The good news: He thinks Georgetown qualifies as an “elite” university! The bad news: He doesn’t think going to an “elite” university is important in the slightest.
Mathews’ Monday article urges students to focus on their experiences in their respective colleges and not get caught up in the name or prestige.
The article cites examples of “heroes” who did and didn’t attend prestigious, brand-name schools to argue why the college doesn’t determine one’s success in life. Billionaire businessman Warren Buffett, for example, attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln; Oprah went to Tennessee State; and singer Bette Midler spent her college years at the University of Hawaii (I, for one, cannot imagine Bette Midler throwing a shaka sign).
No one is sure where greatness comes from. These lists make clear that it does not have much to do with the name of the college on someone’s diploma …
Researchers Stacy Berg Dale and Alan Krueger found that admirable character traits—persistence, imagination, energy—produce success in life no matter which college a person attends.
While it’s depressing how quickly Mathews dismisses Georgetown’s hard-fought elite status, it does makes us feel better to know that the annoyingly knowledgeable kid in Econ isn’t necessarily the next Wall Street tycoon—or at least one can hope.