When it comes to the hotly disputed topic of college admissions, the one thing everyone agrees about is that it’s unfair. But there is little agreement on what a fair process would be.
Rebecca Zwick takes a hard look at the high-stakes competition of U.S. college admissions today. Illustrating her points using analyses of survey data from applicants to the nation’s top colleges and universities, she assesses the goals of different admissions systems and the fairness of criteria—from high school grades and standardized test scores to race, socioeconomic status, and students’ academic aspirations. The demographic makeup of the class and the educational outcomes of its students can vary substantially, depending upon how an institution approaches its task. Who Gets In? considers the merits and flaws of competing approaches and demonstrates that admissions policies can sometimes fail to produce the desired results. For example, some nontraditional selection methods can hurt more than help the students they are intended to benefit.
As Zwick shows, there is no objective way to evaluate admissions systems—no universal definition of student merit or blanket entitlement to attend college. Some schools may hope to attract well-rounded students, while others will focus on specific academic strengths. What matters most is that a school’s admissions policy reflects its particular educational philosophy. Colleges should be free to include socioeconomic and racial preferences among their admissions criteria, Zwick contends, but they should strive for transparency about the factors they use to evaluate applicants.
Who Gets In? is an excellent primer for people involved in the admissions process, and for those who would like to create a fairer way of assessing students. Zwick does a wonderful job of making complex assessment issues clear and accessible to a general audience. I loved this book.
A wonderfully balanced and constructively critical reflection on the admissions strategies used by colleges and universities across the United States. Zwick rigorously tests the most commonly used approaches to admissions by exploring their long-term effects on students and offers a set of practical guidelines for reform so that universities can ensure that their admissions practices align with their larger educational mission.
The endless debate about fairness in college admissions needs a wise, thoughtful, informed, and far-ranging consideration of the issues and rigorous data to support the conclusions, which is exactly what Zwick offers in Who Gets In? Strategies for Fair and Effective College Admissions. This book will immediately be regarded as the definitive source on fairness in college admissions, and I expect it to be the gold standard for years to come.
A thought provoking examination of higher education’s supply side…Thorough and informative.
Zwick’s book is an invaluable resource for anyone who reflects on or worries about the state of college admission today and what it means for diversity in higher education.
- 288 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
Sorry, there was an error adding the item to your shopping bag.
Sorry, your session has expired. Please refresh your browser's tab.