Walter Sobchak, one of our faithful readers, drew my attention to an article by Scott Jaschik at InsideHigherEd about the scandal at Bucknell. Someone– it’s not clear who– left out groups of kids and boosted the average SAT score of admitted students between 7 and 25 points. Given that these groups weren’t very large (7-47 students) and some of the groups’ members had good scores, the others probably had some horrible scores. Real stinkers.
The new admission’s director decided to make a scandal out of it so his job will get a bit easier. He won’t have to compete with last year’s higher bar.
This practice is, as far as I can tell, fairly common. Schools look for any excuse to toss aside the unusual applicants. They might be minorities, athletes, or legacies. Maybe it’s just the art students. Who knows? I’m told they’re much stricter when they put average SAT scores in their bond prospectuses because those are legal documents. If you’re really curious, go look them up.
The real trick is to have a separate round of admissions, say in mid-summer. This is rarely publicized, but this is how they sneak the low SAT scores into the best colleges. By moving them to an entirely different admissions round, no one has to exclude anyone.
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