The Prescription for Admissions

By Jennifer Merritt

SKIMMING THE TOP. Viewed in this context, it's easier to see why the individualistic, hands-on style of admissions for a prestigious grad school won't work for the freshman class of a public university in one of the largest states in the union -- at least not without sizable investments in admissions staffs. And in these hard times, most states can't afford such aggressive personnel moves.

Nonetheless, some schools, such as Michigan, have used a point system of admissions -- including points for GPA, extracurricular activities, and yes, race -- to help cut through the mountain of applicants begging to be admitted. Other state universities have opted for the "10% rule" -- where the top 10% of students at each high school in a state is automatically eligible for acceptance.

Still, even that plan has its imperfections. Bernard Milano, president of the KPMG Foundation and a member of the President's Board of Advisors on Historic

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