College & Workforce Readiness News in Brief

College Officials Pledge to Prioritize Ethical Character in Admissions

By Catherine Gewertz — April 09, 2019 1 min read

Deans of admission at more than 140 colleges and universities have released a letter committing themselves to principles designed to reduce “excessive achievement pressure” in admissions and promote ethical character among parents and students.

The letter was in the works for more than a year, but its release last month lands as the country is buzzing about the massive college-admission scandal that ensnared parents, college coaches and others in a scheme that allegedly used lies and bribery to get children of privilege into elite colleges.

In their letter, the officials say they want to “clear up misconceptions” about what they value in students and ease the pressure that’s come to characterize the admissions process.

The signatories lay out a commitment to evaluate each applicant holistically, taking particular care not to let students’ family wealth or social connections give them an advantage. On the flip side, students whose schools offer few advanced courses “will not be penalized” in the admissions process, the letter says.

Students who don’t have a long list of extracurricular involvements won’t be at a disadvantage in admission, either.

A version of this article appeared in the April 10, 2019 edition of Education Week as College Officials Pledge to Prioritize Ethical Character in Admissions

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