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NEWS
April 30, 2006 | By Chris Satullo
Today ends the cruelest month for teens with dreams. April is when the last of the slim envelopes embossed with college seals arrive in high-school seniors' mailboxes, spawning squeals of delight or humiliated tears. The college admissions race is a perverse, exploitative frenzy whose poisons seep ever deeper into middle-class childhood. Yet many parents equate immersion in the frenzy with doing right by their kids, rather than doing something very wrong to them. Americans love lists; here's a list of 10 Things to Hate About College Admissions: 1. The process is driven by a list.
NEWS
February 22, 2012 | By Mark Sherman, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court set an election-season review of racial preference in college admissions, agreeing Tuesday to consider new limits on the contentious issue of affirmative-action programs. A challenge from a white student who was denied admission to the University of Texas flagship campus will be the court's first look at affirmative action in higher education since its 2003 decision endorsing the use of race as a factor. This time, a more conservative court could jettison the earlier ruling or at least limit when colleges may take account of race in admissions.
NEWS
April 1, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
The case before the admissions panel holed up in a small room at Lehigh University was complex. The applicant had scored 1300 on the verbal and math portions of the SAT, on the low end for the highly selective, private research university in Bethlehem. He had taken only one of the 14 advanced placement courses offered at his high school in New England - not as rigorous of a schedule as Lehigh likes to see. And though he had a strong grade-point average, he received a couple of C's. "This is where it gets rough," admissions staffer Neil F. Gogno told his 16 colleagues, while a summary of the applicant projected on a screen.
NEWS
May 31, 2012
Q. Our son is going into his senior year in a highly rated high school. He has straight A's for his first three years, and he's on the school's football team (they're not so hot). A friend recommended that we see her child's college counselor, who guaranteed that he would get her daughter into an Ivy League school and did. He charges $2,000 for his services, which include training for the admissions test and advanced placement. The guarantee was backed by a full- refund promise. He said that he has "very special relationships" (whatever that means)
NEWS
April 15, 2000 | By Melanie D. Scott, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
From day one of high school, many students have worked hard, hoping to be admitted to prestigious universities after taking honors and advanced-placement courses. For some seniors in Moorestown High School's advanced-placement program, this spring brought disappointment: They were rejected by their first-choice schools. Now they're wondering whether they were turned down because of a mistake their high school made on the midyear transcripts that are sent to colleges and universities upon request.
NEWS
November 22, 1998 | By Jane R. Eisner, Editor of the Editorial Page
America's elite colleges and universities hold the nation's pride in their palms. We revel in the tales of triumph over disadvantage that these institutions serve up. When Bill Clinton overcomes a troubled childhood to make it to Yale and Tom Ridge rises from his government-subsidized boyhood home to study at Harvard, they remind us of how educational opportunity refreshes our democracy. Something deep in the national psyche is replenished when these schools graduate not only the silver-spoon set, but also others who grew up with the metallic taste of hardship in their mouths.
NEWS
January 20, 2005 | By Dan Hardy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The West Chester Area School District's tight grading range hurts students' chances for college admission and should be changed, the district administration and most board members have concluded. At a Tuesday night meeting of the school board's education committee, district secondary education director Michael DiBartolomeo said that under the current system, where an A is 93 to 100, a B is 85 to 92, and a C is 77 to 84, "some of our students may be at a disadvantage. " He and Superintendent Alan Elko recommended switching to a 10-point grading system, where 90 to 100 is an A, 80 to 89 is a B, and 70 to 79 is a C. They also said that the district should adopt a plus-minus system, where an A, for example, would be given for a numerical score of 93-96, an A plus for 97 to 100, and an A minus for 90 to 92. The school board is scheduled to vote on the matter at its meeting Monday.
NEWS
February 18, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christopher Thomas still has the recruitment letter the University of Pennsylvania sent him when he was a senior at Philadelphia's Central High School in 1993. But Thomas would not actually get to the Ivy League campus for 19 more years - three children, several jobs, and a lot of life filled the interim. He finally arrived through a route some might find unusual - the local community college. Thomas, 37, graduated from the Community College of Philadelphia last year and entered Penn in the fall with the goal of becoming a teacher.
NEWS
July 14, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Swarthmore - one of the most selective and prestigious colleges in the country - experienced a 16 percent drop in applications this year after a decade of rising numbers. It was one of the largest application swings in Jim Bock's 18 years in college admissions, and he wanted to know why. So Swarthmore surveyed prospective students who ultimately chose not to apply. Bock, dean of admissions, says he believes the writing requirement on the school's application may have been responsible for the drop.
NEWS
November 23, 2004 | By Dan Hardy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Before deciding whether to switch to a different grading system, the West Chester Area School District will examine college admissions procedures and other school districts' systems, the school board decided last night. The vote was 8-0; board member June Cardosi abstained. The administration of the 11,700-student district has until January to come up with a recommendation. West Chester gives students an A grade only if they score 93 or higher in their courses and a B if they score from 85 to 92. The Philadelphia School District and most of its Pennsylvania suburban neighbors use a 10-point scale, where a 90 rates an A and an 80 gets a B. The more liberal grading system makes it easier to achieve a higher grade-point average.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 25, 2016 | By Susan Snyder and Jonathan Lai, STAFF WRITERS
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a Texas university's use of race in admissions, drawing praise from civil rights groups, which heralded the decision as a major victory for affirmative action. By a 4-3 vote, the court upheld the University of Texas at Austin's argument that it needed to consider race to ensure diversity of its student body and that it had exhausted other means of achieving that goal. The ruling came as a surprise to some experts, who had expected the court to rule in favor of Abigail Fisher, a white student who was denied admission in 2008.
NEWS
December 18, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The Supreme Court isn't expected to rule until June on a challenge to an affirmative action policy that increases black students' chances of being admitted to the University of Texas. Perhaps Justice Antonin Scalia will use that time to remove the foot he put in his mouth with paternalistic comments that seemed to suggest African Americans should avoid challenging academic settings. It was disturbing that Scalia based his assessment on a legal brief that cited a questionable study that has been discredited by some researchers.
NEWS
July 29, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christine Donnelly used to knock on students' doors when they stopped showing up at school. The counselor at Academy at Palumbo, a South Philadelphia magnet school, sat with seniors to make sure they were choosing colleges that were a good fit. She helped them puzzle through financial-aid forms. Philadelphia School District budget cuts made those things often impossible this last school year. And, for the first time in recent memory, 10 Palumbo students failed to graduate, Donnelly said.
NEWS
July 14, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Swarthmore - one of the most selective and prestigious colleges in the country - experienced a 16 percent drop in applications this year after a decade of rising numbers. It was one of the largest application swings in Jim Bock's 18 years in college admissions, and he wanted to know why. So Swarthmore surveyed prospective students who ultimately chose not to apply. Bock, dean of admissions, says he believes the writing requirement on the school's application may have been responsible for the drop.
NEWS
April 25, 2014
AFTER Tuesday's Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, we have a better idea why "Mad Men" is such a popular TV show. The series, set in the '60s, doesn't strike a note of nostalgia for the fashions, the glamour or the incessant smoking, but for the period in the country when actual progress was being made. Consider some of the milestones of the '60s: the court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, which prohibited segregated schools; the Civil Rights Act that outlawed discrimination; the enforcement of affirmative action for the first time; the Voting Rights Act; and the war on poverty, to name just a few. It was a time of high ideals and strong leaders who pushed the country to reach for racial, social, civic and financial equality.
NEWS
November 21, 2013 | By Rita Giordano and Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writers
The night before her interview with a Rider University admissions counselor, Katelyn Zemlak, a Washington Township High School senior, cheerleader captain, and aspiring teacher, was so nervous that she almost forgot she didn't have an outfit to wear. "I literally was in bed," said Zemlak, 17, who rushed over to her best friend's house to borrow a dress. The next morning, she still had the jitters when she met Rider's Ed Stone at her school for a chance to find out on the spot if she would be accepted.
NEWS
June 26, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a definitive ruling Monday on the use of race in college admissions, instead ordering a lower court to re-examine the issue. The high court voted, 7-1, to send a University of Texas case - in which a white student denied admission challenged the university's use of race - back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. It said the appellate court had failed to hold the university to sufficient scrutiny as it sought to prove race was an essential consideration in efforts to develop a diverse student body.
NEWS
April 1, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
The case before the admissions panel holed up in a small room at Lehigh University was complex. The applicant had scored 1300 on the verbal and math portions of the SAT, on the low end for the highly selective, private research university in Bethlehem. He had taken only one of the 14 advanced placement courses offered at his high school in New England - not as rigorous of a schedule as Lehigh likes to see. And though he had a strong grade-point average, he received a couple of C's. "This is where it gets rough," admissions staffer Neil F. Gogno told his 16 colleagues, while a summary of the applicant projected on a screen.
NEWS
February 18, 2013 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christopher Thomas still has the recruitment letter the University of Pennsylvania sent him when he was a senior at Philadelphia's Central High School in 1993. But Thomas would not actually get to the Ivy League campus for 19 more years - three children, several jobs, and a lot of life filled the interim. He finally arrived through a route some might find unusual - the local community college. Thomas, 37, graduated from the Community College of Philadelphia last year and entered Penn in the fall with the goal of becoming a teacher.
NEWS
October 11, 2012 | By Mark Sherman, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court justices sharply questioned the University of Texas' use of race in college admissions Wednesday in a case that could lead to new limits on affirmative action. The court heard arguments in a challenge to the program from a white Texan who contends she was discriminated against when the university did not offer her a spot in 2008. The court's conservatives cast doubt on the program that uses race as one among many factors in admitting about a quarter of the university's incoming freshmen.
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