Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2007 Issue »

    College Admissions in Twenty-First-Century America

    The Role of Grades, Tests, and Games of Chance

    Rebecca Zwick
    In this essay, Rebecca Zwick confronts the controversy surrounding the use of standardized tests in college admissions. She examines the degree to which the SAT and its lesser known cousin, the ACT, limit access to college, particularly for racial and ethnic minorities, and considers two alternative admissions policies that do not involve tests: class rank admissions systems and admissions lotteries. She finds that these initiatives carry their own controversies and have little impact on campus diversity. Zwick notes that some small liberal arts colleges have deemphasized tests and have achieved some success in increasing campus diversity while maintaining high academic standards, but highlights the difficulty of replicating these policies at large institutions. Her analysis sheds light on the ongoing tension between maintaining college selectivity and promoting equal opportunity.

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    Winter 2007 Issue

    Abstracts

    Symposium
    Equity and Access in Higher Education
    The Editors
    Community Colleges as Gateways and Gatekeepers
    Moving beyond the Access “Saga” toward Outcome Equity
    Alicia C. Dowd
    College Admissions in Twenty-First-Century America
    The Role of Grades, Tests, and Games of Chance
    Rebecca Zwick
    Test-Optional Admission at a Liberal Arts College
    A Founding Mission Affirmed
    Brian J. Shanley
    Expanding Equal Opportunity
    The Princeton Experience with Financial Aid
    Shirley M. Tilghman
    Is Teaching for Social Justice Undemocratic?
    Eric B. Freedman
    From Visibility to Autonomy
    Latinos and Higher Education in the U.S., 1965–2005
    Victoria-María MacDonald, John M. Botti, and Lisa Hoffman Clark

    Book Notes

    The Knowledge Deficit
    By E.D. Hirsch Jr.

    Case Studies of Minority Student Placement in Special Education
    By Beth Harry, Janette K. Klingner, Elizabeth P. Cramer, with Keith M. Sturges and Robert F. Moore.

    Qualities of Effective Teachers, Second Edition
    By James H. Stronge