The Case for Change in College Admissions
A Purposeful Meeting
In partnership with the Education Conservancy and through the generous support of the College Board,the Lumina Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation, the USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice hosted, The Case for Change in College Admissions, in Los Angeles from January 26-28, 2011.
This was neither conference nor symposium. Instead it was a purposeful meeting of 185 prominent scholars, policymakers, college leaders, and admission practitioners to discuss what is right about college admissions at class-crafting institutions, to identify what is wrong, and to collectively formulate a framework for changing college admissions to better serve the public interest and meet the nation¹s attainment goals.
This gathering was dynamic in process, and its outcomes consequential.
- Participants actively learned about the current state of our admissions system from one another and from our distinguished speakers through a variety of presentation and discussion formats.
- Keynote speakers included Andrew Delbanco, Robert Zemsky, Michael McPherson, Sandy Baum, Harry Brighouse and Roberto Rodriguez.
- Event harvested knowledge and expertise that informed the creation of a summary document outlining specific admissions areas in need of change.
- In addition to highlighting well-crafted arguments for change that include social, political and economic levers, this document also identifies individual, collective, legal, and leadership considerations that lie at the heart of a reform agenda.
- This important document, which is being distributed among educational scholars, practitioners, and policymakers nationwide, will help to maximize the impact of the meeting and move the nation toward necessary college admissions reform in the social interest.
Presentations and Sessions
Please click on each day for the conference blog.
- College Admissions: Do We Do What We Say We Do?
- Defining Our Collective Charge
- The Case for Change from the Perspectives of Educational Scholars: What We Do, Why, and With What Results
- The Social Purpose of Sorting: An Economic Case
- Ethical Exigencies and Opportunities: The Space for Moral Action
- Why America Cannot Wait for Change in College Admissions
- Laying the Framework for Change in College Admissions: The Perspective of Enrollment Professionals
- Laying the Framework for Change in College Admissions: Individual, Collective, Legal and Leadership Considerations
- Next Steps in Developing an Action Plan for Change
Speakers and Available Presentations
- Andrew Delbanco, Columbia University
- Sandy Baum, Skidmore College – Sorting to Extremes: An Economic Analysis
- Harry Brighouse, University of Wisconsin – Ethical Exigencies and Opportunities: The Space for Moral Action
- Jerry Lucido, University of Southern California
- Michael McPherson, Spencer Foundation – Sorting to Extremes: An Economic Analysis
- Roberto Rodriguez, White House Education Advisor
- Lloyd Thacker, Education Conservancy
- Robert Zemsky, University of Pennsylvania
- Philip Ballinger, University of Washington
- Anthony Carnevale, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
- Arlene Wesley Cash, Spelman College
- Art Coleman, EducationCounsel LLC – A Central Element in the Framework for Change in College Admissions: The Process of Policy Change
- Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan – The Case for Change in College Admissions: Considering the Strategic Use of Aid
- Bill Fitzsimmons, Harvard University
- Matthew Reed, The Institute for College Access & Success – Opportunities for Change in Colleges’ Financial Aid Policies
- John Slaughter, President Emeritus, Occidental College and the University of Maryland
- Joyce Smith, NACAC
- Joseph Soares, Wake Forest University – Merit and Social Selection: From Social Disparities by Design to Social Disparities by Default
- Bill Tierney, University of Southern California – The Class of 2023
- Susan Wilbur, University of California
- Application Inflation: When Is Enough Enough? by Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education
- Breaking the ‘Cruel Cycle of Selectivity’ in Admissions by Jerry Lucido
- Enrollment Management, Inc.: External Influences on Our Practice by Scott Andrew Schulz and Jerry Lucido
- Is the College Admissions Process Too Obsessed with Rankings, Test Scores, and Prestige? by Lloyd Thacker
- Open Letter to Faculty on Wake Forest’s New Admissions Policy with Annotated Bibliography by Joseph Soares
- Tobi’s Lament by Robert Zemsky and Gregory Wegner
- Two-Sided Matching by Charlie Kurose
- Ballinger, P. (2007). “Why and How Socio-Economic Factors Should Be Used in Selective College Admissions.” In T. Crady and J. Sumner (Eds.), Key Issues in Enrollment: New Directions in Student Services. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- 10 Myths About Legacy Preferences in College Admissions by Richard Kahlenberg, Chronicle of Higher Education
- A 21st Century Imperative: Promoting Access and Diversity in Higher Education by Arthur Coleman et al.
- The Power of Privilege: Yale and America’s Elite Colleges by Joseph Soares
- A First Look at Net Price Data - The Institute for College Access and Success
- Time to Reexamine Institutional Cooperation on Financial Aid by Matthew Reed and Robert Shireman
- Recommendations for Award Letters - The Institute for College Access and Success
- Educating Our Leaders: Speaking Truth to Power (Appropriately and Well) by Jerry Lucido
- Restoring America’s Leadership in Higher Education by Roberto Rodriguez
Public Good/College Outcomes
- College Admissions: What Are Students Learning? – Executive Summary by Lloyd Thacker
- Reflections on the Topic of Transparency by Philip Ballinger
- Remarks by the President on Higher Education and the Economy
- Taking Fairness Seriously by Sandy Baum
- The College Idea by Andrew Delbanco
Media Coverage and Related Articles
- “Expanding Enrollment at Selective Colleges: What is the Point?” - Michael McPherson and Sandy Baum – Chronicle of Higher Education (2/6/11)
- “Plea to Expand Enrollment at Top Colleges” - Jacques Steinberg – The New York Times (2/3/11)
- “College Admissions Officers Make a Case for Change” – USC News (2/1/11)
- “Admissions Officials Do Some Soul-Searching” – Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education (1/30/11)