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You’re Now a Two-Minute Video Away from Getting into College

Goucher College will accept video applications in lieu of the traditional essays and test scores.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

Record, upload, submit. That’s the new path to getting into at least one college these days.

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The Perils and Possibilities of an America Without Affirmative Action

Those who support affirmative action have to prepare for an America without it.


How much diversity on campus is enough? When it comes to the use of race in college admission policies raised by the case Fisher v. University of Texas, that's the question Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wanted answered during the oral arguments recently presented to the Court. I have a different set of questions: How do those who support affirmative action—and race-conscious policies in general—prepare for an America without them? Secondly, would an America without them be so bad?

Some consider a post-affirmative action America a triumph of post-racialism, some view it as the prelude to a racial apocalypse, and still others fall somewhere in the middle. Whether you are for or against it, the future of affirmative action is questionable at best. While it's true that certain sectors of our society such as business and higher education continue to support the practice, it's less popular among the general public.

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Why Do We Keep Debating Race-Conscious College Admissions?

A lawsuit against the University of Texas' use of race in admissions is set to be heard by the Supreme Court. Not even Walmart supports it.

The spring of my senior year of high school one of my teachers asked everyone in class to share where they'd been accepted to college. I was thrilled that I'd been accepted at my dream school, Northwestern University, but it turned out that a white classmate who'd applied there hadn't gotten in. Although I was acing my honors and AP courses and had stellar SAT scores, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a class debate over whether I had been accepted at Northwestern solely because I was black. The student who hadn't been accepted complained that I'd probably taken her spot at the school.

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Most Students Who Should Be Taking AP Exams Aren't

More than 60 percent of students who qualify to take an AP exam never do. Guess who's getting left behind?

The number of students taking Advanced Placement exams is up, but according to the latest report from the College Board, a significant numbers of students that should be taking AP tests aren’t. They analyzed the performance of 771,000 PSAT-takers from the class of 2011 and discovered that 478,000 students—over 60 percent—did not take an AP exam even though their test scores indicated they could do well on one. In particular, the College Board found that high scoring students from black, Latino, and Native American backgrounds are "much less likely than their white and Asian peers" to take AP exams.

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Can a Facebook App Get High School Students Into Their Dream Schools?

Acceptly wants to help high school students hack the college admissions process.


The college application process can be pretty overwhelming, and overworked high school guidance counselors often don't always have the time to give individual students the personalized coaching they need. So where can students get help without hiring a private college adviser? A free Facebook app, Acceptly, wants to "take the guesswork out of getting into college" by coaching students through the process.

Acceptly provides an organized one-stop hub for college prep tools and resources, tips for getting in, and connections to college admissions experts. Although the site is primarily designed for students, parents can also sign up their high schoolers. To test it out, I told the app that I'm a junior at the high school in my Los Angeles neighborhood. The first question it prompted me to answer was "What colleges am I considering?" I typed in three choices and I was immediately taken to a dashboard that clearly laid out "to-dos"—the steps you need to take to get into your dream schools.

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After 94 Years, Tiny Deep Springs College Goes Coed

After 94 years and plenty of debate, the tiny nontraditional school is going coed. Two alumni reflect on the decision.


Nestled in a remote valley in the California desert is a tiny 26-student bastion of nontraditional education, Deep Springs College. Founded in 1917 by industrialist L.L. Nunn, Deep Springs provides two years of free college education to prepare young leaders for lives of service. But until now, those budding leaders were required to be male.

Deep Springs doubles as a working ranch, with students working as butchers, cooks, and cowboys when they're not studying. The education students receive revolves around three pillars: labor, academics, and self governance. When they finish the two-year curriculum, the majority transfer to the most elite universities in the country. It's a close-knit community, which is why it may be surprising to some that the push to go coed came from the students themselves.

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