Monday, May 19, 2014

#NoPersonalStatements: Abolish the college admission essay

When I first applied to Morehouse College years ago my essay was largely about my dad and his many goals that he left behind when he died. While my mother spent many years attending DePaul University part-time, my dad struggled to get as much as his GED. Although to be sure he was of that generation who could afford to drop out of high school and still do OK!

And now I see that there's an argument to abolish the personal statement on college applications. Now could this be a mistake, or could this be a benefit? The conclusion of this article I found on Instapundit:
None of these alternatives to the traditional personal statement would eliminate subjectivity from the admissions process. But they would remove some of the politics--and much of the dishonesty. Most importantly, they would relieve applicants of the burden of being chosen for who they are rather than what they can do. In doing so, they could make an arbitrary and tortuous process just a little more tolerable.
So, the alternatives to those essays that allows prospective students to tout their own horns while being reflective isn't a good idea. Also many have written essays that may sweeten the pots as far as who our many colleges seek to attract. They do focus on the Ivy League schools as least who do seek minorities and low-income people and they use the essay to do so.

I'm proud of my essay and I used to have a copy on a floppy disk which was stolen years ago. I may have a physical copy around the house somewhere. It probably helped me get into Morehouse but beyond that if the standard had been sending in a writing sample in the field which I would like to study probably wouldn't have hurt anything.

In fact because I actually transferred to Morehouse from one of the City Colleges of Chicago perhaps writing a paper in the social science field - my major was in fact political science - shouldn't have been entirely difficult. That idea among others isn't as bad of an idea as any.

Still, aside from academic and extra-curricular accomplishments of a prospective undergrad admission officials should still consider essays that explore who their institutions future students are. What do you think?

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