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College Admission

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Charles Murray writes in the Wall Street Journal: Why the SAT Isn’t a ‘Student Affluence Test’ A lot of the apparent income effect on standardized tests is owed to parental IQ—a fact that needs addressing. By CHARLES MURRAY March 24, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET ... The results are always the same: The richer the parents,... Read More
From Charles C. Johnson in City Journal on what we know now about the mostly hushed-up scandal at one of the Claremont Colleges, where the Admissions department fabricated statistics submitted to USNW&R and other guidebooks to keep its Top Ten liberal arts college rating:It’s probably
From the NYT:This doesn't look like a lot, but note that Claremont McKenna is 9th among liberal arts colleges on the USN&WR list. In other words, it's right on the bubble of being Top Ten or not Top Ten, which is the kind of thing that means a lot for bragging rights at extended family... Read More
USN&WR lists colleges by yield ratings (number of accepted applicants who show up in the fall divided by number of applicants accepted the previous spring). Not surprisingly, Harvard is #1, but what's #2, well ahead of #3 Stanford? Hint: A man much in the news started out at #3, graduated from #2, then earned two... Read More
It's interesting to compare college admissions in the U.S. to other countries. Here's an NYT article on Britain:Originally offered only in traditional academic subjects like English language and literature, mathematics, foreign languages and the sciences, in recent years the range has broadened to include media studies, health and social care, business studies, and travel and... Read More
The traditional concept of college admissions was that the goal was to predict applicants' future achievement (which could be measured in terms of first year in college grades or money donated 50 years later or whatever). The most obvious way to predict future achievement was past achievement: e.g., high school grades. Presumably, past achievement had... Read More
Steve Hsu points to an article from Chronicle of Higher Education on how college admissions departments are, like baseball teams in the 1990s and basketball teams in the 2000s, increasingly hiring quants to statistically manage the admissions process. Search the job listings for top-level admissions and enrollment openings, and you will find that many colleges seek... Read More
According to "Mixed-Race Students Wonder How Many Boxes to Check" in the NYT, the endless demands from college admissions offices for essays from applicants Just what cynics figured. First, some throatclearing:Oh,
From the L.A. Times:The interesting analysis w
Here's an amusing NYT article about how Chinese-American firms that mold applications to fancy colleges for hefty fees are expanding into the Mainland China market, where they write essays and create Potemkin extracurricular activitiesThe company entered China at a time whe
David Leonhardt writes in the NYT about how wonderful it is that Amherst, a super small  liberal arts college, has increased its share of Pell Grant winners (bottom half of income distribution) from 13% to 22%. My impression is that the thumb on the scale to get students from the South Bronx and to a somewhat... Read More
Mickey Kaus writes at the Daily Caller:This is an interesting point: that the kind of "holistic" college admissions that the Supreme Court endorsed in its 2003 pro-affirmative action ruling in Grutter claims to evaluate everybody in some overall "holistic" sense that, in eff
A reader sends in the following strategies for getting into fancy colleges:University of California gives a full 1.0 higher GPA for "Advanced Placement" courses, even though a study says that 0.5 would better predict freshman GPA. I'd like to see Advanced Placement test scores weighed more heavily in college admissions, but there is a lot... Read More
From AOL News:In contrast, deer dad Andrew Ferguson, author of Crazy U., didn't want to reveal where his son wound up after getting turned down by a lot of private colleges, so he just modestly called it Big State University. (It's easy to deduce from details in the book, however, that his BSU is one... Read More
From my new column:Read the whole thing there.
In my new VDARE column, I return to the subject of pregnant foreign tourists holing up in America to acquire birthright citizenship for their babies.... To help the NYT’s puzzlement in case it should ever want to return to this subject, let’s find out what the Chinese themselves say are the reasons. An enterprising reader... Read More
The back of the book section of the Atlantic Monthly is dominated by a group of writers -- Benjamin and Christina Schwarz, Caitlin Flanagan, and Sandra Tsing-Loh -- who have lived or worked in the San Fernando Valley, and whose worldviews mutually reflect and reinforce their Valley experience. Thus, I find them more perceptive about... Read More
Here's an article from the Toronto Star that got me wondering about something else:This is the kind of article that you'd read in Los Angeles back in the 1970s: "Mellow Out, Chinese Dudes." Since then, however, American parents in LA have largely decided that 1400 years of Chinese test prep (the first Chinese civil service exams... Read More
The prestige of colleges is a topic of broad interest, but it doesn't seem like it has been studied objectively very much. In particular, the list of prestigious colleges in 2010 seems quite similar to that of 1975. Moreover, being a prestigious college like Harvard in 2010 seems like even a bigger deal than being... Read More
Here's a paper by Thomas J. Espenshade et al based on 125,000 applications for freshman admission at three highly selective private research universities in the 1980s and a couple of classes in the 1990s. The usual suspects really help your chances at getting in: being smart, being black, being Hispanic (to a lesser extent than... Read More
Russell K. Nieli writes: A new study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade and his colleague Alexandria Radford is a real eye-opener in revealing just what sorts of students highly competitive colleges want -- or don't want -- on their campuses and how they structure their admissions policies to get the kind of "diversity" they seek.... Read More
The neoliberal Washington Monthly magazine has gotten into the business of ranking colleges, but they do it based on their assessment of each university's "contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to... Read More
Lynn O'Shaughnessy has a good article in the NYT on "The Other Side of 'Test Optional'" about why the growing trend toward some colleges not requiring SAT or ACT scores is more of a ratings scam than, as it's usually presented, a rebuke of the culturally biased obsession with trivial testing.For example, Dickinson College in... Read More
There's been a lot of attention paid lately to the vast endowments piled up by the most prestigious universities. Harvard's endowment recently hit $35 billion, which generates so much return each year that tuition is an afterthought in Harvard's budgeting process. One reason is that Harvard graduates tend to be richer, so they can afford... Read More
The two key numbers in the college admissions prestige game are selectivity and yield. For example, Harvard only accepts about 10% of all applicants, and about 80% of them choose to go to Harvard.Some specialty schools have very high yields without having very high selectivity, such as BYU and the Citadel military, but mostly selectivity... Read More
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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