Thursday, June 21

GPA, SATs should decide admission

UCLA must say in advance what grades, scores are necessary for students to be accepted

Submitted by: Matthew Janda

Discrimination is everywhere, and it is necessary.

Without discrimination, businessmen couldn’t hire employees to run a profitable company, coaches couldn’t form a winning team, and people wouldn’t be able to date and see whether someone makes them happy.

Yet no one seems to have a problem with this type of discrimination because it is required to form the best business, team or relationship. Rather, people usually get upset when irrelevant requirements are used for discrimination such as race, age or sex.

UCLA should be no different. There should be no shame in recruiting only the best and brightest students, regardless of race or background.

The only aspect that future employers and society in general will care about is the quality of work a UCLA graduate is expected to produce, and UCLA’s applications should be designed to ensure the highest quality work possible from its graduates.

This will be a product of three things: the student’s intellectual ability, work ethic and education. These qualities should be the only factors that the UCLA admissions board considers when deciding whether or not to accept an applicant.

The only indicators of a student’s intellectual ability and work ethic that should be taken into consideration during the admissions process are grades and SAT scores.

Grades are an excellent indicator of both how hard one will work and how intelligent someone is.

SAT scores provide a similar function but more accurately represent one’s abilities in specific fields, because good grades can often be achieved through easy teachers or extra credit.

Students who are not very good at math, writing or reading comprehension will have a more difficult time gaining admission, but these standards are necessary to get the highest quality in freshman applicants.

Both grades and SAT scores should be looked at relative to the average GPA and SAT score from the applicant’s high school.

Rather than removing the SAT II requirement, look at the scores with respect to how well the average student did.

If they’re much better than average, then the student probably either works very hard or is very intelligent or both.

This system will still take into account students who come from a low socioeconomic background by assessing them in a local context.

Many people undoubtedly will argue that only taking into account applicants’ grades and SAT scores with respect to their school’s average won’t accurately show creative ability or personality.

While I agree it won’t show one’s personality or creative potential, I think it’s impossible to accurately judge those qualities anyway.

And even if it could be shown, it could easily be faked with minimal effort in a few essays, whereas SAT scores and grades cannot.

Besides, why should UCLA discriminate against capable students because they don’t have the right type of personality anyway?

Lastly, it’s important to remember when increasing or decreasing the application pool that the UC Board of Regents is effectively playing a zero-sum game.

Only so many students are going to be admitted into UCLA no matter the admissions process, and by making it easier for some, they are making it harder for others.

Rather than having students hope they get lucky and encouraging them to take a bunch of electives they don’t want to take, tell them what GPA and SAT scores they will need to have based on what high school they’re in.

This way, they don’t have excuses for not getting in, and they don’t have to worry about whether they will get lucky.

This can easily be done with a few simple mathematical formulas.

Let’s make sure applicants are going to be discriminated based on what is actually going to matter for California and their future employers ““ people who will benefit from the best students getting an education at a top-notch university.

Janda is a fourth-year business economics student.

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