We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I support the idea of "holistic" college admissions. Not "holistic" as an excuse to admit unprepared students, but holistic in the sense of students with many different talents and areas of potential besides just their SAT scores. (I would use SAT for screening, though, as it is essentially an IQ test.)
I will want musicians, mathematicians, writers, actors, geniuses, etc. I would want people who comport themselves as ladies and gentlemen. I would not have athletic admissions though except as an extra extracurricular on an otherwise desirable resume.
Some admissions officer somewhere claimed that Stanford could fill its entering class with Asians with perfect SAT scores. Well, those kids are smart, and driven. Some are surely overachieving drudges but so are some non-Asians. Some claim that Asians are the new Jews, discriminated against because of their drive and academic success.
If I ran a college, I would ignore race and ethnicity entirely, and look for interesting people with depth, curiosity, academic and other talents, energy, and integrity.
And once you have these interesting individuals all in one place......., include at least a couple years each of Latin & Greek, a passing acquaintance with Gibbon (Fall of the Roman Empire), Vasari (Lives of the Painters), and John Julius Norwich (A Short History of Byzantium). All the math (including Algebra and a smattering of Trig) a person could stand (believe me, it WILL come in handy in everyday life).
I had most all the above in High School 1964-68 and life has been better for it. My grades were not too good at the time, (boys, y'know), but the lessons stood by me for later use. My '60's - 70's college years were indeed a waste. All I can say about them is "Jacques Derrida".
If you ran a college you would look for kids who were going to be welcomed into Goldman Sachs, Cedars-Sinai, Skadden and the New York Knicks. Why? Because US Colleges have become Alumi Endowment machines rather than places for higher learning.
I would open it to all who wanted to attend but would require that all students maintain a 3.0 GPA.
I would limit the degree programs to actual and legitimate college courses. No basket weaving or hate studies. Every freshman required to take college level (as in not the dumbed down versions) math, science and English and maintain a 3.0 GPA.
I would not offer nor accept any scholarships, tuition assistance, subsidies or government payola. But I would limit the cost of college by focusing on faculty and minimizing the administrative staff and hangers on.
I'm increasingly of the view that some smart college somewhere should say goodbye to the selective admissions insanity and instead establish a set of fixed criteria for admissions with spaces to be awarded on the basis of a lottery. They would have required courses taken, required GPA and required minimums for the SAT or ACT and Achievement Tests. Maybe they would also have requirements for extracurricular involvement. The more selective colleges could set the bar as high as they wanted, but once students met all of the minimums, they would be eligible for admission, depending on the outcome of the lottery.
Such a process would be transparently fair, though the outcome would be simply a matter of luck, not dependent on the advantage of connections or on the whims of an admissions staff bent on pursuing an ideological agenda.