Earlier this week our staff had a lively discussion with President Kim. He brought up this question about admissions in general and I thought I'd pose it to you.
Have you asked yourself this question before? How valid is the premise that an application is actually representative of an applicant? How can black-and-white forms capture a person's potential?
This question is not just for college admissions, but also for job hiring and other selection processes.
Grades, rank, and curriculum are solid measures of academic performance and potential. However, a liberal arts education is so much more than this. Accordingly, our decisions are based on far more information about the range of qualities you bring to our community. We're looking for intellectual inquiry, passion, leadership, talents, sense of humor, compassion, creativity, and much more. How can the entirety of the application accurately reflect all these more difficult-to-measure qualities?
Recommendations can be tremendously helpful. The Peer Evaluation similarly reveals intangible qualities. The Personal Statement shows us your life beyond grades and scores. But are we not still simply admitting the collection of words that have been ascribed to you?
What do you think? Are we admitting the applicant or the application? Is there a better process? What would the alternative look like?