TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Clearing the Paper Trail to College

Re: Clearing the Paper Trail to College
11 Apr 2005 07:01:31 -0700

Monty Solomon wrote:

> By Alison O'Leary Murray, Globe Correspondent | April 10, 2005

> When Natick resident Sean True looks at the college admissions
> process, he sees a problem -- too many envelopes being mailed to too
> many colleges. Too much paper.

Actually, many years ago two key aspects were computerized:

1) Financial aid: Students filled out a standard computer-scan
questionnaire which was distributed accordingly.

2) SAT scores -- presumably now sent electronically to colleges.

Different school districts have greatly varying ways of preparing
transcripts of high school life. Some are not computerized at all,
some are highly sophisticated. The information includes more than
just courses and grades, it also includes evaluations, extra
curricular, discipline, attendance, etc. I think schools vary on what
info they send and colleges vary on what info they want.

If I were a student today, I'd be quite nervous about hackers or
others getting into the data.

Also, I don't want to encourage large colleges from using computers to
do basic application screening. I realize that in effect is done now
manually due to high volume of applications -- a clerk does a quick
scan looking for basic minimums, but having a computer do it is
worse -- it removes important variables.

Grades are very subjective and vary tremendously from school to
school. A yuppie ambitious suburban community will have a very
intense school district where an "A" really is an "A". In contrast, a
weak area might give an "A" just for showing up every day and not
causing any trouble. When I got to college a lot of my fellow
freshmen were overwhelmed by the coursework. They got straight A's in
high school easily but college was much harder. A "C" student from an
intense high school would be more prepared than an "A" student from a
mediorce high school.

The point is that grades in themselves are not enough -- the kind of
school is important as well, as well as other factors. Computer
scanning is not good at that subjective sort of thing.

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