Did You Know? Some UNC Student-Athletes Don’t Meet Minimum Admission Requirements

Some student-athletes at UNC schools get admitted despite not meeting the minimum admission requirements. The university system counts these students as “exceptions.”  The system’s universal minimum admission requirements—which are the same for athletes and non-athletes—have undergone some recent changes. In March 2020, the board of governors voted to temporarily change the minimum requirements (as a … Continue reading “Did You Know? Some UNC Student-Athletes Don’t Meet Minimum Admission Requirements”


Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’

The members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors are charged with a solemn duty: to oversee and guide the state’s public university system. Although some of their day-to-day responsibilities might seem mundane, many of the decisions they make shape the system’s standards, values, and the extent to which the university’s dual mission … Continue reading “Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’”


College Admissions Essays Are Getting Shorter—and More Political

The college admissions essay can be a stressful part of the application process for students. Like standardized test scores, however, their influence is waning. Many colleges have stopped requiring them. Even when they do, essays tend to be short—more like personal statements than a longer and more serious piece of writing. On the bright side, … Continue reading “College Admissions Essays Are Getting Shorter—and More Political”


The Last Refuge of Pure Meritocracy

Racial consideration for college admissions hearkens back to Grutter v. Bollinger, the landmark decision by the Supreme Court in 2003. It held that affirmative action programs can pass muster as long as they are “narrowly tailored” in order to achieve the “compelling interest” of promoting diversity on college campuses. Colleges across the country have since … Continue reading “The Last Refuge of Pure Meritocracy”


UNC Will Not Require the SAT Next Year

On July 23, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors voted to temporarily waive the SAT or ACT requirement for college applicants. The vote came after UNC administrators proposed that an “emergency temporary waiver” be approved so that students who are unable to take the test due to cancellations are not negatively impacted in … Continue reading “UNC Will Not Require the SAT Next Year”


If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?

The COVID-19 pandemic probably won’t kill the SAT, but will no doubt leave it in a badly weakened condition. Both the SAT (and its close competitor, the ACT) have had to cancel administration of their tests for the last few months and, according to this Washington Post story, universities have decided that they will make … Continue reading “If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?”


Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste: UNC BOG Hastily Enacts New Admissions Policy

It is a common saying that one should “never let a crisis go to waste.” Last week, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors exemplified this principle when they met last-minute to discuss changing admissions standards. For months, members of the UNC Board of Governors have been contemplating a drastic change for admissions—one that … Continue reading “Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste: UNC BOG Hastily Enacts New Admissions Policy”


GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One 

At a time when only 41 percent of college students graduate in four years—and only 56 percent in five years—colleges and universities across the country are phasing out the only truly objective measure of academic excellence and student success in the application process: standardized tests. Next month, for example, the University of North Carolina Board … Continue reading “GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One “


The Goucher College video app is a terrible idea

Back in the early 1990s, while I was in the middle of a long business career, I recall reading that the University of Pennsylvania had decided to add an unusual essay requirement for their undergraduate applicants. Specifically, the students were asked to submit “Page 217” of their 300-page autobiography. Remember now, these budding autobiographers were all of 17 years old.