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The truth about 'holistic' college admissions

The truth about 'holistic' college admissions

In May, 60 groups filed a complaint with the Justice and Education departments claiming that Asian Americans are held to a different standard — a higher standard — than other students applying for admission at elite universities. They believe that "holistic admissions" is being used as a modern-day form of racial discrimination.

I worked in admissions at the University of Pennsylvania and at Franklin & Marshall College, and I can tell you something about what goes on. Elite universities — public and private — practice what is called "holistic admissions," a policy based on the idea that a test score or GPA does not completely reflect...