Turning the Tide: New Harvard Study on College Admissions

Harvard recently released a report entitled “Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions.”  This study challenges colleges to rethink how they evaluate students for admissions. Several distinct recommendations were offered including:

  • Promoting more meaningful contributions to others
  • Assessing student’s ethical engagement with family and community
  • Redefining achievement to both level the playing field and reduce stress

So what does this mean for students?

  • Quality over quantity when it comes to extracurricular activities.
  • Impact and meaning matter when choosing how to spend your time in the community. Look for sustained, meaningful community service, collective action that take on community challenges, interaction with diverse communities or service that develops sense of responsibility for the future.
  • Being a good person to your family and community is important.
  • Balance is critical both for students’ mental health and to reduce work overload of AP/IB classes and test preparation.
  • Don’t over polish your essays and applications.  Authenticity does matter.
executive summary

Turning the Tide

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