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.
According to the most recent (2007) data, 45 percent of all colleges or universities, and 66 percent of public ones, have no admissions criteria at all. In the public sector - which accounts for three-quarters of all higher education slots - among the 34 percent of schools with some kind of admissions screen, 69 percent accept more than half of their applicants. Even among the remaining somewhat selective institutions, the majority either do not require admissions test scores or they accept most low-scoring applicants, with the result that the average verbal SAT for all college applicants is 532, and that for the math SAT is 537 (both out of a potential score of 800).
Assistant Village Idiot
I don't see the problem unless by accepting one with a low SAT score they leave someone out. Colleges have remedial classes to get kids back on track, and the very atmosphere of a campus may elevate a formerly low student into one who feels blessed to be in such an environment and finds his potential to succeed.
As a long-time instructor of science at a large public university, it's been my experience that as many as 30% of the undergraduates in my classes did not belong in higher education. They were inadequately prepared for college level work and lacked the personal commitment needed to correct the deficiencies in their backgrounds. They would have been better off taking a few years off after high school, working some, traveling, maturing, and then---having decided what they wanted to do later in life---going back to school for an education. There's nothing like dedication and perseverance to turn a mediocre student into a fire-breathing world-beater. Hard working, older students are a teacher's delight. They are grateful for the knowledge you share with them and they value the learning experience. Too many younger students are in college to mark time. Colleges use them to fill seats in cavernous classrooms, taking their tuition money in order to pay an army of administrators and faculty and to make a splash in the annual rankings of universities by magazines. If your school's entrance standards are high, some of those seats probably won't be filled. Administrators worry a lot about empty chairs.
Agree with all you say, Agent. One of my careers was in education, and I can say unequivocably, at least 40% of the teachers had no business in the profession. But empty classrooms needed to be filled.
I wonder if there is a profession that can claim 100% of the people working deserve their place.
I like what the Israelis do: Two years military or civil service before anyone can go to college.