Phi Beta Cons

One Collapse Upon Another

More campuses are making entrance tests such as the SAT optional, and those that have done so are seeing an increase in student enrollment and diversity.

I tend to agree with the judgment of Bruce Harvey, as posted in the comments on Inside Higher Ed:

This is all about money. Declining enrollments are closing public schools in some locations around the U.S. The pool of eligible college students will continue to decline. The result is the specter of declining freshman class size. But there is as yet little change in the size of the higher education establishment. The small exclusive liberal arts colleges are the first warning of a coming decline or collapse of that establishment. It appears that the number of applications grows when the SAT/ACT filter is removed. More applicants mean more possibilities for discretionary admissions which means keeping up the enrollment which means continuing cash flow from tuition via DOE grants and loans which means keeping administrators and professors on the payroll . . . . [This is about] desperately needed cash flow . . . . I hope the GRE is NOT abandoned. I think you should expect a decline in GRE scores in a few years highly correlated to undergrad schools and student cohorts that did/did not utilize the SAT filter.

Because the funding of education remains “seat”-based as opposed to performance-based, we continue to see–like the folding of a stack of cards–the collapse of educational standards at all levels.

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