This question is for those who are currently attending a degree-granting institution, or have received a Bachelor’s degree. I’m interested in finding out how you were admitted to the college or university.
My experience: I went to high school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I spent five years in high school, as was then normal for Ontario students wishing to attend university. While I was there, I enjoyed playing in the school concert band, working on the annual drama club production, writing for the yearbook, and being on the Reach for the Top team (television high school quiz show).
But when I applied to universities, the extracurriculars didn’t matter. The schools only looked at my marks (grades), and two letters of recommendation from my high school teachers. And of course in Canada, we do not write the SATs. In spite of this, I was still accepted to all the schools I applied to (for the record, they were U of Toronto, Queen’s University, and York University). I chose to go to the University of Toronto, and I received a degree from there in due course.
Contrast this with my wife’s experience. She went to high school in Pueblo, Colorado. There, she studied of course, but also was on the track team and in the orchestra, among other activities. She also had to write the SATs. So her college applications reflected her involvement with school activities, grades, SAT scores, and so on. I believe personal interviews and personal statements were also required of her.
I’m kind of surprised that she had to let the school know of all that and that they would consider such things, and she is kind of surprised that my schools admitted people on grades alone, basically. So our questions to you Dopers are the following:
- Where and when did you go to university/college?
- What criteria did the school use in deciding whether to admit you?
- Which do you believe provides a better assessment of the student’s likely success at university: grades alone or grades plus SATs/extracurriculars/interviews/statements?
(I’ll reserve my answer to number 3 until later in the discussion.)