Business Schools

Early Admissions: On Its Way Out?


Is this the beginning of the end for early admissions?

In September, Harvard University said it would eliminate the early admissions process for the undergrad class entering Fall 2008, citing a desire to even the playing field between needy and non-needy students and lessen stress. Shortly afterwards, Princeton and the University of Virginia followed suit.

Often, lower-income students do not apply for early decision because financial aid packages are not offered until later in the year.

It remains unclear how many other schools will jump on the bandwagon, however institutions tend to model themselves after the most prestigious in the field, says John S. Levin, Bank of America (BAC) professor of education leadership at the University of California at Riverside's Graduate School of Education. "Thus, theoretically, we could expect that once the very top schools end early admissions, the rest will surely follow. However, some may choose to stay the course because of other factors, such as alumni and stakeholder pressure to maintain early admission," Levin says.

Cornell University officials have said they are considering a change in policy. But Ivy League schools Brown, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania were not. The University of Delaware nixed its early admissions plan prior to Harvard, Princeton, and UVA’s announcements.

Cutting early decision might not be the right move for all schools, says Jacqueline King, director for policy analysis for the American Council on Education's division of programs. She says each school should consider the demographic of the applicant pool and the potential effect on application numbers.

Still, from the discussions that Harvard and the other schools have set off, it’s likely that more schools are going to at least reevaluate their admissions policies. But already, some high school juniors are looking at the prospect of waiting a little longer to find out whether they got in, and where.

Showbiz Club Seeking Expansion

Breaking into the back-end of showbiz can be almost as hard as getting your face in front of the camera. That's why two recent Indiana University graduates are looking to expand an entertainment-focused business organization to campuses around the country and possibly convert it into a nonprofit organization.

The Business Careers in Entertainment Club, part of IU's Kelley School, provides undergraduates with contacts in the field and trips to entertainment-related firms. Networking events over the past few years have allowed students to meet with executives from the New York Yankees, Sirius Radio (SIRI), and the NFL, among other companies. If other schools join in on the concept, they will have access to the BCEC's large network of alumni and other industry contacts.

"Because of the nature of what the companies do, it's hard to get a hold of people because they like to keep things very private. A lot of students—whether they're in New York, L.A., or the Midwest, find it hard to work in the industry because it's hard to contact anyone," says Robb Rosenthal, a 2006 Kelley School of Business grad and former club president.

Schools that already have entertainment business or sports business clubs are being targeted most heavily, says Jonathan Levey, also a former BCEC president and IU alumnus. They include NYU's Stern School, Penn's (Wharton School), the University of Michigan's Ross School, and UCLA and USC in California, says Levey.

Membership is $20 per year at Indiana, and dues would be similar if expanded. And with the job-hunting opportunities the BCEC can provide for undergrads, that fee is certainly worth it.

Social Networking for Social Good

Want to make friends and get your good deed in for the day? Try Rethos.com. Launching in October, the social-networking site is envisioned as a meeting point for working on social and environmental issues.

Individuals, nonprofit organizations, and socially responsible businesses are being invited to join, says Princeton University senior Alex Salzman, co-founder and partner of Rethos.com and its parent company Blue Horizon Media. Each member creates a profile—similar to Facebook or News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace—and can then connect with other users to discuss and take action. "It's not just for venting, fuming, and being lost in the noise. It's a site where we want solutions," says Salzman.

Rethos.com also provides users with news updates and interesting pieces of information related to causes. Salzman says he wants to get nonprofit, government, corporate, and user perspectives.

While membership is free for individuals and nonprofits, socially responsible companies will sponsor various features on the site. "It's a whole new way to approach corporate responsibility," Salzman says.


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