in College Admissions: A Common Sense Approach
Luke D. Schultheis
the worthy debate over affirmative action and quotas in college
admissions attempts to reconcile philosophical and political objectives,
it does not completely address how to make higher education accessible
to many minority students.
The trend for too many college recruiters has been to buy SAT
mailing lists, utilize website marketing, and narrow the focus
for prospective students to select high schools. Unfortunately
this serves to discourage admission of qualified inner city youth
who may not be reached in any of those mediums. As colleges continue
to shape the middle class, it is imperative that those in lower
economic status be given equal opportunity.
Colleges should actively recruit inner city youth. By developing
close relationships with applicants, colleges can fulfill the
dual objective of a more diverse student body and making higher
education accessible to qualified members of a previously underserved
Some inner city high school guidance counselors have told me that
too many of their students donít set their sights high enough
and overtures from colleges might encourage more of them to apply
to college. Those students could be successful in college, but
their families often donít consider higher education an option
because their children need to be wage earners after high school.
As a result, they donít even take the SATs!
Itís important that colleges and universities make an effort to
reach those capable students. They can do that by visiting community
centers and high schools that are not traditionally thought of
as fertile ground for college recruitment. At those presentations,
admissions reps should be prepared to become educators. They can
teach families about options and opportunities in higher education
financing and explain the realistic benefits and risks of loan
In this competitive era, it is also essential that colleges not
only design elements of their curricula and programs so they lead
to realistic careers, but they must support practical education
with aggressive job advice and development. Parents of prospective
students will be more willing to support the notion of higher
education if they believe it will mean broader employment opportunities
and greater chance for financial stability and future success.
Too many minority families think that the phrase, ďTo get a good
job, get a good education,Ē is a clichť meant for someone else.
Experience has shown that if we meet prospective minority students
on their own turf and engage their families in the process of
admission, then freshman classes will be more ethnically diverse
and higher education will begin to be more accessible to all.#
D. Schultheis is the Director of Admissions, Monroe College, Bronx,
Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001.
Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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