Admissions equality called into question

    The fairness of university admissions was put into question on Oct. 4 when the Los Angeles Times released a report analyzing undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley. The document was commissioned by UC Board of Regents Chair John Moores and draws attention to a significant number of 2002 UC Berkeley applicants admitted to the university despite having SAT I scores below 1,000.

    The analysis, co-authored by Moores, claims that the several hundred students admitted with drastically subaverage scores were “”marginally academically qualified,”” while nearly one-third of all applicants with SAT I scores over 1,500 were turned away.

    Critics of the University of California’s “”comprehensive review,”” the admissions process the university has utilized for the past two incoming classes, contend that it is a gross injustice when an applicant scoring so high on a test designed to measure scholastic aptitude is pushed aside for a student of much lower scores because of an admissions officer’s subjective views on hardships and extra-curricular talents.

    Comprehensive review recognizes that an individual’s achievement is not always measured in test scores, but also in the obstacles one has overcome or by excelling in areas such as leadership, arts or athletics.

    Unfortunately, no quantitative system for measuring these so-called intangibles has yet been disclosed to the public, nor have the details of the university’s comprehensive review process.

    Applicants must be able to qualify for admission by meeting UC parameters set forth in the grades-scores eligibility index, but we must also consider an individual’s achievements elsewhere to achieve fairness.

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