Demystifying Virginia college admissions
By Megan McLaughlin
As a former Georgetown University admissions officer, I can sympathize with Andy Pettis’s frustration regarding “Mysteries of admissions at Virginia’s public colleges” [Local Opinions, May 16]. Many unique factors, beyond academic and extracurricular achievements, influence the admissions process.
Although colleges do their best to provide academic profiles of their accepted students, GPA and SAT averages are simply that: averages. Additional factors that may become “tipping points” for those who get accepted from among a highly talented applicant pool can include: geographic and ethnic diversity, superior athletic or extracurricular talent, and alumni or development ties.
A student body that is rich in all areas of diversity will create a dynamic place of study. It also means that some more academically competitive students will be displaced. Given that Mr. Pettis cited these diversity factors, the admission process isn’t so much “mysterious” as it is difficult to quantify.
As a Virginia parent and taxpayer, I am more concerned about reducing the number of out-of-state students who take up in-state freshman seats and who pay out-of-state tuition that is below “market rate” compared with other state universities. Virginians need to lobby the General Assembly to address this problem. It’s unfair to students and to taxpayers.
| May 20, 2010; 11:15 PM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia
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