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Friday, October 28, 2016

by Marian Wang, ProPublica.

As college-bound students weigh their options, they often look to the various statistics that universities trumpet — things like the high number of applications, high test scores, and low acceptance rate.

But students may want to consider yet another piece of info: the ways in which schools can pump up their stats.

“There’s no question about it,” said David Kalsbeek, senior vice president for enrollment management and marketing at DePaul University. “There are ways of inflating a metric to improve perceived measures of quality.”

Some of these tweaks — such as a more streamlined application — can actually benefit students. Others serve to make the admissions process more confusing. Here’s a rundown.

1) Quickie, often pre-filled applications

Express applications — sometimes known as “fast apps,” “snap apps,” “VIP applications” or “priority applications” — are often pre-filled with some student information and require little, if anything, in the way of essays. And especially when they’re accompanied by an application-fee waiver, what’s a student got to lose? Not much, fans of fast apps argue.

The school, meanwhile, has a lot to gain. The tactic, designed to broaden the pool of applicants, can help super-charge application numbers. Drexel University and St. John’s University — the only two private colleges among the top 10 for most-applied-to colleges in 2011 — both market broadly and use fast apps.

Both schools received roughly 50,000 applications in the fall of 2011, according to U.S. News & World Report data. Both schools enroll roughly 3,000 freshmen.

Getting in more applications can also boost the appearance of selectivity. Critics contend that some schools use fast apps specifically for this purpose — luring students in to apply to institutions they hadn’t heard of and ultimately rejecting a portion of them. Neither school, when contacted, responded to requests for comment.

2) Shorter applications, Common Applications, and shorter Common Applications

Another way to get more applications is to adopt the Common Application, as nearly 500 colleges have since its inception in 1975. The form, which lets students apply to multiple schools at once, has fueled the long-term rise in applications. And as more colleges have adopted it, other schools have felt pressure to start using it too.

Many schools have long required that students submitting a Common Application include additional answers or essays. Dropping the extra requirements can result in a spike in applications. That’s what happened for Skidmore College, which saw a 42 percent jump in applications this cycle after it stopped requiring supplemental essays to the Common App. (Skidmore College’s dean of admissions did not respond to a request for an interview.)

3) Dipping into early-application pools

Another statistic schools often try to control is their “yield” — that’s admissions parlance for the percentage of students offered admission who choose to attend.

Though it’s no longer statistically factored into U.S. News’ ubiquitous rankings, yield rates are still a data point made available to prospective students. They’re also inextricably tied to acceptance rates because schools use previous yields to calculate how many students they should admit to fill a class. Schools with low yields must extend lots of acceptances, knowing many accepted students will go elsewhere.

One way to increase yields is to draw heavily from the pool of applicants who chose to apply through early action, or to encourage early decision, which is binding. At the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, nearly half of the spots in the freshman class are filled through the university’s binding early decision process.

Penn is hardly alone in leaning heavily on early decision. Many schools accept early-decision applicants at a higher rate than students who apply later. American University, for instance, accepts about 75 percent of early-decision applicants, though its overall acceptance rate is far lower.

One other thing to note: Because early decision involves committing before any financial aid is offered, it generally attracts wealthier families. Students who need financial aid or want to be able to make cost comparisons between different schools are typically advised not to apply early — which can hurt their chances.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • What drugs is that crazy Bitch doing?

  • The problem for Jennifer is that most Americans, indeed, most world citizens, remember what happened when George W. Bush was in office, and the consequences of his policies and decisions. Her most bizarre claim she made was suggesting that W kept us safe after 9/11. This is like saying the doctor did a marvelous job after the patient died. The rest, including the alleged economic growth and stability she attributes to Bush’s wisdom is believable only among those afflicted by Alzheimers. What amazes me is that some people read and believe her garbage.

    • My whole family reads and believes it!!! My husband and I are now outsiders! They HATE this President! Tell me it isn’t because he had the nerve, being a black man, to aspire to the highest office in the land and get it? In all my years, I have necer seen such out right hate!!

      • Betta

        There’s that old and tired race card again. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin and everything to do with his destructive policies that are killing this country. PLEASE, I beg of you, open your eyes and see what is happening around you.

        Obama never ran a business and never had to make payroll to employees. He is inept at running a whole country where he is not even a legal citizen. In addition, he is the biggest LIAR I have ever seen in my life. Can’t believe what he gets away with.

        Listen to your family and what they are trying to tell you. They’ve probably been hit pretty hard with Obama raising the payroll tax. They’re taking home less money in their paychecks now. Do you know that on the average, people are taking home $40 less per week? That is A LOT of money for families that are already struggling. They will get hit even harder when obamacare fully kicks in. We all will. The outlook is quite grim.

        Even those getting the obama freebies will get a rude awakening when their food stamp cards and other freebies get cut or stop working altogether.

        • Like You Being The Same Old Lying Binder Bitch Huh?? Same Old Lying Trolls Where The Rest Of Your Lying Group?? Why Do You Come Here You Got Plenty Of Lying Racist Web Site Out Here WND Wacko’s N Dummies!!

  • JDavidS

    Two things… No-one with a brain takes Rubin seriously, and secondly,in retrospect, the clowns from the GOP that currently worship Saint Ronnie can probably convince themselves that Dubya wasn’t all that bad.

    • They like to call themselves ” the party of Lincoln!” What a travesty that is!!

  • exdemo55

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite vast differences with President George W. Bush on ideology, style and temperament, President Barack Obama has stuck with Bush policies or aspirations on a number of fronts, from counterterrorism to immigration, from war strategy to the global fight against AIDS.
    Even on tax policy, where Bush advocated lower tax rates for all and Obama pushed for higher rates on the rich, Bush’s tax cuts for the middle class not only have survived under Obama, they have become permanent.
    Obama inherited from his predecessor two military conflicts, a war on terror and a financial crisis. He also inherited, and in time embraced, the means with which to confront them.
    On Thursday, Obama will attend the dedication of Bush’s presidential library in Texas, a tableau that will draw attention to two distinct men — a Republican and a Democrat from different ends of the political spectrum, political foils with polarized constituencies.
    Indeed, Obama ran for president in 2008 as the anti-Bush, critical of the war against Iraq and of the economic policies of the preceding eight years.
    But in his more than four years of governing, Obama has also adopted or let stand a series of Bush initiatives, illustrating how the policies of one administration can take hold and how the realities of governing often limit solutions.
    Bush’s signature education plan, No Child Left Behind, remains the law of the land, though the Obama administration has granted states waivers to give them flexibility in meeting performance targets. A Bush Medicare prescription drug plan, criticized for its cost, is now popular with beneficiaries, and Obama has sought to improve it by providing relief for seniors with high bills. Obama continued the unpopular bank bailouts and expanded the auto industry rescue that Bush initiated in 2008.
    Bush authorized a military surge in Iraq in an effort to tame the conflict there. Obama completed the withdrawal of troops from Iraq but also authorized a military surge in Afghanistan before beginning a drawdown of troops that is expected to be completed at the end of 2014.
    “The responsibilities of office drive presidents toward pragmatism,” said Joshua Bolten, a former Bush chief of staff. Where those policies are effective, he added, “the successor has good reason to adopt them.”
    Obama, like Bush during his presidency, is seeking an overhaul of immigration laws that give 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally a chance to get on a path toward citizenship. Bush came up short in 2007, but Bolten believes that six years later the nation and its politicians are in a different place.
    “President Bush was just ahead of his time and his party in recognizing both the importance of reaching some sort of bipartisan accommodation and on what the elements of that might reasonably be,” he said.
    Bruce Buchanan, a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes on the presidency, says it’s not uncommon for presidents to hand off their agendas to another. Even measures or issues that were unpopular under one president can appear different with the passage of time and under the direction of a new occupant in the White House.
    “While the names of the problems are the same, the stage of development is usually very different and the public stance of the president dealing with them is often very different,” he said. “You have to be sensitive to those things lest you create the false impression that they are mirror images of one another, which I don’t think would be accurate.”
    On no front are the similarities more striking than on counterterrorism. Obama did vow to end the harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding that had been employed during the Bush administration, and he issued an executive order upon becoming president declaring that the United States would not engage in torture.
    But other practices continued and, in some case, expanded under Obama.
    “The basic similarity is these are the only two presidents that have governed in a post-9/11 era, where the principal threat to the United States comes from terrorism,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser. “President Obama believes that we’re at war with al-Qaida and its affiliated groups, has continued to take direct action against al-Qaida networks overseas and has continued to pursue very aggressive intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security measures that have been developed since 9/11.”
    Jack Goldsmith, who was an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during Bush’s first term, says Obama’s use of warrantless surveillance, military detentions without trial and increased drone strikes has received less pushback than it would under a Republican president.
    Goldsmith, now a law professor at Harvard Law School, argued in a blog post after Obama’s election that the public “generally trust the former constitutional law professor and civil liberties champion more than a Republican president to carry out these policies.”
    He added that “many on the left (in Congress and the NGO community, and perhaps the press) who might otherwise be uncomfortable with these policies will give President Obama a freer hand than they would a Republican president.”
    Still, Rhodes sees significant differences in Obama’s national security approach.
    Bush, Rhodes said, had defined the broad conflict as a war on terrorism and included Iraq as part of that war.
    “We redefined the war as something more narrow, which was a war against al-Qaida and its affiliates, not against other states, not against nonaffiliated terrorist groups,” Rhodes said.
    Republican Sen. John McCain has a unique perch to assess both presidents. He ran against both — in 2000 against Bush for the Republican nomination and in 2008 against Obama. He allied himself with both men on immigration and called on them to increase troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan. An early opponent of waterboarding, he has applauded Obama’s continued use of other counterterrorism measures.
    “I think they both had an appreciation for the threat that we face,” he said of the two presidents.
    But he faults Obama for not leaving a residual force in Iraq and for creating uncertainty about what the U.S. presence will be in Afghanistan after 2014.
    And he distinguishes between the presidents. Under Bush, he said the United States became a nation “that was ready to pursue our enemies.”
    “Obviously, President Obama viewed this as a time to withdraw and not to make military commitments overseas.”
    Rhodes makes a similar point, though differently.
    “The trajectory under the previous administration was an increased military presence overseas,” he said. “President Obama would like his legacy to be the reduction of military presence overseas and having, ideally, zero troops in harm’s way.”

  • Betta

    I will NEVER vote for ANY more bushes in the white house. That would be insane. All I know is this: Whether you like Bill Clinton or not no one can deny this country was on the good foot when he was president. Everybody was working and spending money. Money was flying out the woodwork into the people’s pockets and life was damn good.

    Then bushboy got in there and it has been down hill ever since. People lost their jobs, homes and businesses have died Then we have the illegal in the white house who is killing this economy DAILY! Now they are saying Jeb would make a good president. I don’t think so. Haven’t we had enough already?

    These past 12 years have been excruciatingly painful. Many lost everything they had and it is getting worse. Obamacare will be our downfall if this monstrous piece of legislation is allowed to be fully implemented. I really don’t see how it can be funded. WE CAN’T AFFORD IT!

    It is already a failure because they blew through $5 BILLION dollars and currently can’t accept any more people with pre-existing illnesses, a benefit that Obama promised. Another promise he made to the people that he can’t keep. It just goes on top of the mountain of LIES he has already told.

  • Bush isn’t apolitical. He’s on the lam. He’s laying low after the historic robbery of the American economy he and Cheney perpetrated through Haliburton and Blackwater, and that they continue to perpetrate through those military industrial complex cntractors. Unlike Cheney, who is very vocal and incendiary in stoking the flames for war to contnue their profiteering, Bush can get some credit for just peeking from under his rock. One thing is certain, if he or Cheney set foot outside of America into any country other than England, the Netherlands, or Canada, they’ll need a Special SEAL tesam, Green Berets, and Rangers to protect them from arrest or execution.

  • DirkVanden

    Born-Again-Bush thought he was fighting Armageddon. Bush fully expected a holy war to ensue after 911, and was determined to win it for Christ. Cheney & Rice fed W’s delusion that he would be right up there with Jesus on God’s list, after he won the war against Islam. He can’t admit the truth, it sounds too crazy, and it didn’t work. Meanwhile Cheney set out to make his warmongering buddies richer, which he certainly did, & took home a tidy retirement benefit: a new heart. .
    Think how disappointed W must be right now. No wonder he’s in hiding, painting pictures of himself. He expected exaltation and got repudiated. That must hurt a lot.
    Can you say “Schadenfreud”?