The Administration's Process
There are multiple things taken into account when accepting an applicant to colleges and university. Here’s the rough breakdown.
About a third of the criteria is based on your SAT (scholastic aptitude test or scholastic assessment test) and ACT (American college testing) scores. Clearly, these testing scores are greatly weighed in importance when it comes to accepting a new applicant.
Class grades, course level and class rank:
The level of your class course (AP honors, college preparatory, or regular), your class grades, and your class rank are worth a little over a third in the grand scheme of things. Class rank used to be a large factor in admission decisions. But as stated by a recent disclose by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), more than half of all high schools no longer report student rankings.
Extracurricular activities such sports/clubs, community services, etc. are worth about a third of the criteria colleges are looking for. The one puzzling question is why is this weighed so greatly? Colleges and universities are more than aware that a kid living in a low-income neighbourhood, using all his or her free time out of school working at home to support his or her’s family, may not have the time or money to rock the soccer fields or take art classes.
So clearly this system is flawed considering that not all the components are within reach for all students.
As mentioned before, one of the heavily weighted criteria for college acceptance is the extracurricular activities you participate in. Would you have thought of that as bias?
Extracurriculars can make or break an applicant's chances of getting in. You may be an outstanding student, but who do you think colleges want more, an outstanding student, or an outstanding student will impeccable soccer skills.
As we all know, most of the time to develop a skill, you take classes or join a team. Most kids are fortunate enough to be able to afford the classes needed and have the time to dedicate, but not all. Not everyone has the luxury of three dance classes a week. Many kids whose families are in tough money situations have to care for other family members. Is it truly fair for one student to have an advantage over the other due to financial status? Also, the loyalty of the students to their family may play a role in the effort put into getting into a college. After spending so much time working due to money issues, they lose hope in ever going to a college. “If a sixth grader thinks he does not have any chance of going to college, he may conclude there is no point in trying,” says Ben Miller, a member of the New America Foundation.
As far as I’m concerned, colleges aren’t giving some sort of other option to kids with special situations such as this. Universities must understand they making outside school activities so important in truly unfair. Is it really fair to use a student’s commitment to his/her’s family against them?