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Tags: college admissions | gpa | higher education
OPINION

GPA's Diminishing Significance in College Admissions

GPA's Diminishing Significance in College Admissions
(Dreamstime)

George Mentz By Wednesday, 07 February 2024 02:59 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The landscape of college admissions has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, challenging the traditional emphasis on Grade Point Average (GPA) as the primary indicator of a student's potential success.

As a Federal Commissioner for the White House Presidential Scholars Program, I have had the privilege of gaining insight into the remarkable talents and achievements of top students across the United States. This exposure has highlighted the inadequacy of GPA as the sole measure of competence and underscored the importance of a multifaceted approach to recognition of a student’s competence and abilities.
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The integration of AI will bring a more equanimity and geographical diversity to college admissions, potentially ensuring that more deserving students have a fair chance to succeed.

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As such, the GPA is no longer as critical as it once was in assessing a student's qualifications. For instance, to be accepted for the Doctor of Jurisprudence or MBA degree programs that I completed, I needed to provide transcripts, LSAT scores and GMAT scores.

The GPA and graduate testing were the primary way of acceptance for decades, but that is not the whole truth anymore. As a recent board member for Loyola University Alumni Association, my alma mater actually had eliminated the requirement for ACT and SAT scores, and applications virtually doubled overnight.

Going forward, I am not sure whether SATs, ACTs, GMAT’s and LSATs will remain as vital as they once were. However, the MCAT and other related graduate testing scores will probably remain a critical issue in relation to licensing people to do life-saving jobs such as: deliver babies, become surgeons or even fly planes and jets.

Beyond GPA: A Holistic Approach

While GPA remains an essential part of the college application, it is crucial to recognize that GPA does not tell the whole story. Having taught over 250 college, business, and law school courses in the last 25 years, technology has changed everything with the dynamic between paying students and professors. With 80% of Yale students getting A’s in their class, it appears that professors across the USA are giving out less C’s and avoiding social media backlash from students.

Further, most professors want to stay on track for their courses to remain popular and achieve promotion or tenure.

Social media posts are used two ways: 1) rating the professor and 2) avoiding the professor.  With most top schools now handing out A’s to undergrad students, these same students will have a clear advantage in getting into graduate schools of law, business, or medicine.

However, today's top students possess a wide range of talents, skills, and experiences that extend far beyond their academic achievements. Resumes of applicants are now filled with standout accomplishments. These aspects of each student will now be counted much more than before — as most top students already have a 4.0 GPA or higher.

Well-Rounded

  1. Advanced Placement (AP) Courses: AP classes are more intense than high school classes. and scoring well on AP exams may allow you to earn college credit, advanced placement or both.
  2. Sports and Athletics: Participation in sports not only showcases physical fitness but also highlights qualities like teamwork, discipline, and leadership.
  3. Martial Arts: Achievements in martial arts signify dedication, discipline, and self-control.
  4. Musical Skills: Musical talents illustrate creativity, discipline, and dedication to honing a craft.
  5. Artistic Skills: Artistic endeavors showcase creativity, innovation, and a unique perspective on the world such as painting, acting, or even broadcasting.
  6. Recognitions and awards in various domains signal exceptional talent and dedication.
  7. Volunteer Service: A commitment to volunteer work demonstrates empathy, compassion, and a desire to make a positive impact on society.
  8. Residence and Cultural Background: Geographic and cultural factors bring diversity and unique perspectives to campus communities, enriching the overall educational experience.
  9. Work Experience: Anyone who has had a job in high school with a real paycheck probably has greater abilities with persistence, emotional IQ, discipline, and basic understanding of business. I actually heard an Ivy Level Admissions leader say that they would prefer to take a kid that bagged groceries each summer over most others applicants due to work ethic of the kid with the job.
  10. Handwritten proctored essays. These may have value because AI will allow for a virtually flawless reconstruction of ideas submitted by any applicant who contributes a few bullet points to AI.

Repeal of Affirmative Action

One significant development in the college admissions landscape is the repeal of Affirmative Action Laws that had been in place for over five decades. This change has compelled institutions to look beyond traditional metrics like GPA and standardized test scores (SATs and ACTs) to evaluate applicants more holistically. The repeal of these laws has led to the emergence of advanced and nuanced methods for assessing applicants, emphasizing the importance of a diverse and dynamic student body.

The Role of Technology and SEO

As one of the few legal professionals in the United States with both an MBA and extensive teaching experience in higher education, I recognized the potential of technology and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in college recruiting over 20 years ago.

I was the first lawyer to publish peer-reviewed articles on leveraging new technology and SEO to optimize the recruiting process, making colleges and law schools more accessible to a broader range of students.

I even helped recruit for great academic institutions such as: ABA Accredited Law Schools, Norwich University, and George Washington University, Brandeis, Northeastern and many other top schools and masters programs. Believe me, recruiting these qualified leads for schools are worth a lot of money to universities and admissions professionals. Many universities can’t afford admissions departments and outsource the whole process.

Technology will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of college application analysis and enrollment.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Looking ahead, artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionize the way colleges and universities sort, judge, and analyze applicants. AI algorithms can assess applicants based on a broader spectrum of criteria, identifying hidden talents, keywords, and potential that traditional methods may overlook.

The integration of AI will bring a more equanimity and geographical diversity to college admissions, potentially ensuring that more deserving students have a fair chance to succeed.

The Future: Verification and Equivalency Analysis

As the college application process becomes more intricate, there may be a growing need for a cottage industry focused on verification and equivalency analysis. This industry could help institutions ensure the authenticity and credibility of applicants' achievements, volunteerism, foreign diplomas, and experiences — further enhancing the fairness and transparency of the admissions process.

Conclusion

The college application process has rapidly evolved, challenging the traditional primacy of GPA as the ultimate measure of a student's qualifications. Today's admissions officers recognize that excellence takes many forms, and applicants bring a diverse array of talents and experiences to the table.

The globalization of the higher education markets, the repeal of Affirmative Action Laws, advancements in technology and AI, and a broader perspective on admissions criteria have all contributed to this transformation.

As we move forward, we can expect the continued evolution of the college application process, with AI playing an increasingly prominent role in identifying and nurturing the potential of each top student. In this changing landscape, GPA is just one piece of a much larger puzzle that admissions officers must assemble to ensure they admit the most capable and diverse student body possible.
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Commissioner George Mentz JD MBA CILS CWM® is the first in the USA to rank as a Top 50 Influencer & Thought Leader in: Management, PM, HR, FinTech, Wealth Management, and B2B according to Onalytica.com and Thinkers360.com. George Mentz JD MBA CILS is a CWM Chartered Wealth Manager ®, global speaker - educator, tax-economist, international lawyer and CEO of the GAFM Global Academy of Finance & Management ®. The GAFM is a EU accredited graduate body that trains and certifies professionals in 150+ nations under standards of the: US Dept of Education, ACBSP, ISO 21001, ISO 991, ISO 29993, QAHE, ECLBS, and ISO 29990 standards. Mentz is also an award winning author and award winning graduate law professor of wealth management of one of the top 30 ranked law schools in the USA.

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GeorgeMentz
The landscape of college admissions has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, challenging the traditional emphasis on Grade Point Average (GPA) as the primary indicator of a student's potential success.
college admissions, gpa, higher education
1514
2024-59-07
Wednesday, 07 February 2024 02:59 PM
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