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Some State Colleges Nix Essay For Streamlined Applications

(File photo: Getty Images)

(File photo: Getty Images)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With the budget crunch affecting state universities, more are turning to their students to make up the difference. It’s leading to changes in the application process — but not for everybody.

The application sounds like one of those credit card offers.

“We sometimes call these ‘fast apps’ where you can say, ‘Oh, you’ve been selected to apply to our school — one sitting, fill this out, no application fees.'”

And no essay, says Joan Koven, an independent educational consultant at Academic Access in Havertown.

“It’s much more data-driven — their GPA and their scores.”

Great for some students, she says, but not for others who may not test well and count on being able to tell their story.

Koven says it could help some kids who are daunted by the application process; on the other hand, it puts all the weight on test scores and GPA.

The fast applications often are geared to out-of-state students. They pay more at public colleges, so having more of them among the ranks can help keep tuition at a reasonable rate for the rest of the class.

It also can improve a college’s selectivity ranking. She says she’s seeing tactics like this employed by smaller liberal arts schools — the more applications they take in and the fewer students they accept, the higher they can be rated.

“The forbidden fruit is always the sweetest.”

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