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This Week in Admissions News | Week 17

MAY 12, 2021

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students planning to apply to universities, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. We’ve rounded up the latest news and given our take on what it means for future and current college students. Check back each week to see what’s new!

1. Newly released stats show Oxford is admitting more underrepresented students year after year

According to its fourth annual admissions statistical report released this week, Oxford’s efforts to increase diversity on its campus are paying off. In the last five years, the proportion of Oxford admits who identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) has risen from 15% to 23% while the proportion of admits from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds has nearly doubled, from 8% to 15%. The report also shows increases in the numbers of women, students with disabilities, and students from areas of low progression to higher education.

Crimson’s Take: At Crimson, our mission is to level the higher education playing field for students from all backgrounds — so we’re uplifted by any news of universities’ diversity efforts coming to fruition. Many elite universities are believed to favor students from privileged backgrounds in the admissions process, and we hope these findings will help eliminate that misconception. We’re thrilled to know that institutions as selective as Oxford are giving qualified students from all backgrounds the chance they deserve.

2. Test-optional policies may go beyond the university level for public colleges in the state of Illinois

A bill that would allow Illinois residents to apply to any of its public universities without submitting standardized test scores has passed through the US House of Representatives and could now proceed to a vote in the Senate. The Higher Education Fair Admissions Act was formed on the basis of research indicating that high school GPAs are a better measure of college aptitude than SAT or ACT scores, and it would require all four-year public universities in Illinois to implement test-optional admissions policies by January of 2022.

Crimson’s Take: The last year has certainly been a tumultuous one on the topic of standardized testing! We’ve seen hundreds of US universities announce test-optional policies for the first time in history — and then extend those policies for another year or longer — which has in many ways upended the traditional college admissions process. While we do understand the driving forces behind legislation like this, knowing how important test data is in admissions decisions and knowing that some of the most prestigious US unis do not plan to adopt permanent test-optional policies, we think it’s unlikely that legislation like this will spark a trend or that widespread or long term test-optional policies will be implemented anytime soon.

3. The first-ever Muslim student body president has been elected at Yale

For the first time in its 320-year history, Yale has elected a Muslim student body president with a majority vote of 56%. In an interview about her election, Bayan Galal said, “As a Muslim woman, I have only been able to accomplish things, so many of the things, that I’ve been able to because of other people who have advocated for me and advocated for people like me. My goal was to pay that debt forward to future generations by delivering results for the Yale student body.”


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Crimson’s Take:* As a company that works with students all over the world from many ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, we’re thrilled to hear about this milestone for Yale! Diversity and inclusion are crucial in leadership roles to ensure that students are adequately represented, with their needs met and concerns heard. Our students are pioneers and leaders in many capacities, and we’re always glad to point to examples like this of what their futures could hold. Congratulations to Ms. Galal for her remarkable accomplishment! 

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