Yes, that’s right, you can find out what files and notes admissions offices have on you. This article in Forbes, let’s you know how:
In a stunning development in the mysterious world of college admissions, students at Stanford University were able to follow a “tried and tested” five-step process published by Fountain Hopper, an anonymous student-run website at Stanford, to legally obtain their college admissions records. Fountain Hopper’s simple five-step process (they even have a a pre-populated template to submit your request) is based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which mandates that schools must provide students access to their educational records. This means that students can now find out what admissions committees wrote about them and their applications for admission, including numerical values placed on applicant personality rankings, evaluation of student academic records and more.
This development could have a profound impact on college admissions nationwide as students discover why they may or may not have gotten accepted for admission to a college or university, and somehow pass that information along to future college applicants seeking admissions at such Holy Grail colleges. Colleges’ admissions decisions have always been closely guarded secrets, particularly shrouded in mystery at elite colleges that often turn down 90% or more of their applicants. Who gets in and why are two big questions that parents and students have struggled with for years.
In the ultra-competitive and often ridiculous world of elite college admissions, I can already see parents eager to buy the personal records of students who were admitted to elite universities. Before long there could be an eBay for students’ college admissions records, with big-data statistical optimization models that serve to maximize students’ chances of admission going toe-to-toe in a fight with the big-data quantitative algorithms that colleges already employ to help them with strategic enrollment management (hitting admissions numbers without breaking a school’s financial aid budget). Forbes’ Maggie McGrath wrote a great article on big-data strategic enrollment management called, The Invisible Force Behind College Admissions.
Got a 4.0 GPA, a 35 ACT score and were accepted at Emory, Davidson and Wesleyan, but declined at Princeton, Dartmouth and Yale? There is a market for that.
If you don’t want to wait for all of this top secret information unfold in some useful way to you and your family, you can watch the incredibly useful college admissions interview right now with Christoph Guttentag, the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke University. I already asked him all of the hard questions about who gets into top colleges, and why. He not only is articulate and insightful, he’s on your side! He wants you to understand the admissions process and how to maximize your chances of being admitted to the best college or university for you. There is a reason why students and parents at Duke love the guy. Watch the interview, and I bet you’ll appreciate the insights he shares, too.
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