Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bard College's Bold New Essay Admissions Program

Just out in The New York Times, some of the results of Bard College's bold new program, to ditch the regular college application process and invite students to write four long essays from "a menu of 21 scholarly topics."

"Helen Chen, a senior at a small public high school in San Francisco, is the kind of student who tries teachers’ patience.
“Honestly, in class when I’m not interested in something, because I understand it already, I kind of just stop paying attention,” she said.
"She is more than smart enough to handle the material — she did great on her SATs — but instead of listening to the day’s lessons, she sometimes follows her own curiosity, reading about philosophy, art history and other subjects her school does not offer.
"Behavior like that earned her a D in English class. It also made her a perfect candidate for the experiment that Bard College conductedthis year. In addition to the standard application, which emphasizes measures like grade point average, test scores, extracurricular activities and teacher recommendations, Bard for the first timeinvited prospective freshmen to dispense with all the preamble, and just write four long essays chosen from a menu of 21 scholarly topics. Very scholarly topics, like Immanuel Kant’s response to Benjamin Constant, absurdist Russian literature, prion disorders and artificial intelligence." READ MORE

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