New trend sees admissions uncovering what’s behind a student’s GPA

What’s behind the GPA a growing need

The need to uncover the personality behind the GPA is likely to assume even greater importance as more and more schools emphasize teamwork and collaboration. It’s a message that Morantz is hearing from business schools, nursing schools, and engineering programs, among others.

“Engineering schools are saying, ‘We’ve got students with a 99 percent average who we don’t want in the program after year one because they’re not collaborative. They’re book smart, but they are not able to work in a team environment.’”

Incorporating video into an already-complex application process does pose challenges, though, not least because of the time admission officers must spend reviewing the videos. Based on Goucher’s first-year experience with its GVAs, the time demands are not insignificant. “Our version of the video application is suited to our smaller environment because we have the time and ability to work through the applications,” said Wild, adding that larger schools may not have that luxury.

Whether it’s video or some other portfolio content, there does appear to be a clear trend away from standardized benchmarks. According to FairTest, an organization opposed to the current system of standardized testing, more than 800 four-year colleges are now “test-optional” or “test-flexible,” meaning they do not automatically require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores.

“There will likely be more schools that entertain ideas like video admissions, especially as more and more schools become test-optional,” said Scott. ” I wouldn’t predict that everyone’s going to be doing video profiles, but to have companies that are focused on saying to students, ‘Let me help you show colleges why you’re a good fit outside all the numbers,’ is great.”

Andrew Barbour is an editorial freelancer with eCampus News.

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