The Harvard Graduate School of Education has shared a new report that has been endorsed by dozens of other schools. The proposal specifically evaluates how colleges choose prospective students.
The report focuses on three important and key considerations.
- Promoting more meaningful contributions to others, community service, and engagement with the public good.
- Assessing students’ ethical engagement and contributions to others in ways that reflect varying types of family and community contributions across race, culture, and class.
- Redefining achievement in ways that level the playing field for economically diverse students and reduce excessive achievement pressure.
A recent study from Inside Higher Ed reports that while diversity has picked up on many college campuses, there is still a lack of smart students from poor failies.
Admissions departments’ focus on test scores, AP/IB classes, and superficial extracurriculars which hurts underprivileged students, according to the Harvard report. Instead, universities should focus on community involvement — whether that be a service project or caring for your family.
Harvard wants students to report the work they do outside of school. That work could include jobs outside the house, watching over younger siblings, or taking on major household chores.
The report also says that community service should be “meaningful” and “sustained” rather than an activity that students participate in to boost their chances of getting into a top-tier school.
The report admits that most colleges will not take all of its considerations at heart, it does hope to “create a healthier balance in young people between their self-concerns and their investment in others and the larger world.”