Thursday, October 18, 2018

Study by Michael Bastedo and PhD students Kristen Glasener and Jandi Kelly cited in Atlantic article on Harvard admissions policies


Professor Michael Bastedo’s co-authored study, published in the Journal of Higher Education, was cited in an October 2018 article in The Atlantic. Co-researchers include higher education PhD students Kristen Glasener and Jandi Kelly, and Professor Nicholas Bowman of the University of Iowa. Their article, "What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Holistic Review? Selective College Admissions and Its Effects on Low-SES Students," examines how 311 admissions officers define and use concepts of holistic review in selective college admissions.

Reporter Alia Wong of The Atlantic cites the study in her investigation of admissions practices at top-level institutions. In her article "Elite-College Admissions Are Broken," she also discusses a current lawsuit related to Harvard’s holistic admissions process, which involves evaluating an applicant’s interests and personality in addition to his or her GPA and standardized test scores.

Wong draws on Bastedo and team’s study, which demonstrates that nearly half of “Tier 1” institutions, where entrance is highly competitive, consider context in the admissions process. Bastedo was also quoted, explaining that elite colleges “laud” this process “as a legally viable method to reduce inequality and promote college access.” The article notes that Bastedo’s team also discovered that higher education institutions with holistic admissions processes are much more likely to enroll low-income students as compared to other institutions.

Michael N. Bastedo is Professor

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