Changing college admissions to reflect motivation and ambition

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture

Bard College in New York made news last fall when President Leon Botstein announced that prospective students would no longer be required to submit their grades, SAT or ACT scores, teacher recommendations or the typical personal essay. Instead they will now be able to apply to Bard by writing four analytic papers—10,000 words total—chosen from a variety of weighty, thought-provoking topics.

Botstein recently discussed the school’s new system and why he believes the admission process, as a whole, is flawed. “It’s not an objective process. It’s completely subjective,” he says. “And the parents ought to know that.”