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Highlights from Higher Ed Special Edition: Holistic Admissions

A Quick and Efficient Approach to Interviews

Since it was developed at McMaster University in 2002, the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) has been adopted at other medical schools across North America and the globe. The process consists of 10 mini-interviews. Each session is 8 minutes long, and students receive a 2-minute break in between each interview. Applicants interact with one person at each station, giving them the opportunity to participate in 10 interviews with 10 people, in a more comfortable atmosphere.

Source: McMaster University

A New Approach to Veterinary Admissions

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has selected three institutions to participate in a pilot program to study holistic admissions. As a part of the pilot program, the AAVMC will work with the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine as they “pursue admissions reviews that are flexible, consider the applicants’ capabilities, provide balanced consideration to academic performance, life experience and attributes and assess how applicants will contribute to the learning environment and the veterinary profession,” according to Lisa Greenhill, Ed.D, AAVMC’s senior executive director for institutional research and diversity.

Source: Veterinary Practice News

The Holistic Holdup for Some Nursing Programs

Health professions programs are leading the way in the holistic admissions process, with 93% of dental schools and 91% of medical schools already using a holistic process to admit students. Nursing schools, on the other hand, have been a little hesitant to adopt holistic admissions practices. The most common reasons cited include: a fear of potentially possessing a subconscious bias, not having enough time to change the process and a lack of strong evidence to suggest that it will be successful.

Source: Kira Talent

New Holistic Project Funded

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided a grant of $1,195,000 to UC Davis, UCLA and USC to fund a 4½-year holistic review project. The project is focused on developing holistic review methods for eight humanities and humanistic social science graduate programs at each UC campus. “We are excited because, ultimately, this project has the potential not only to reach across our 10-campus system, but also to reach peer institutions nationwide,” said Prasant Mohapatra, principal investigator for the project and vice provost for Graduate Education and dean of Graduate Studies at UC Davis.


A New Approach to Standardized Tests

Colleges and universities are removing the required submission of test scores at a surprising rate. With over 1,000 institutions no longer requiring these scores, the research is showing that the quality of student admitted and enrolled in these schools has not changed.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Yield Increases for Low- and Moderate-Income White Female Students

This year, the yield for low- and moderate-income white female students at Oxford College of Emory University increased 21%, going from 13% to 34%. Douglas A. Hicks, dean and the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Religion at Oxford, believes that the College’s approach of focusing on all low-income students, rather than just minority students, may be why yield is up so much for this group this year. The College’s commitment to “looking at students for all kinds of experiences and backgrounds” means that a combination of factors play into admissions decisions, contributing to the diversity of this year’s freshman class.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

History Unchanged

The share of black freshmen at elite schools has basically not changed since 1980. Although they make up 15% of college-aged Americans, black students are just 6% of freshmen at the nation’s top colleges and universities. According to The New York Times, “Affirmative action increases the numbers of black and Hispanic students at many colleges and universities, but experts say that persistent underrepresentation often stems from equity issues that begin earlier.”

Source: New York Times

Social Media in Admissions

More than two-thirds of colleges — that’s 68% — believe it’s fair to view the social media profiles of applicants in order to get a better picture of their lives. Students should take note: holistic admissions means that the good and the bad are seen, and considered, in application review.

Source: Kaplan

Holistic Review and Diversity

Since the 1980s, Louisiana State University has had a policy of rejecting applications that include standardized test scores that don’t meet their minimum requirement — that is, until the University tried out holistic review practices on many of the 23,000 applications it received for its fall 2018 class. The 5,803 freshmen it ended up admitting make up the largest, most diverse and highest achieving class in LSU history.

Source: The Advocate