Is individualized attention possible?

I don't know how I feel about the U-M admissions policy change. I've never gone to a public university, I've been out of the country, and I don't understand all of the arguments. What I do know is that the U-M is already having financial problems and now will have to hire new admissions staff to read their 25,000 yearly applications and make individual judgments and decisions.

And more annoying to me than any question of race or socio-economic background is the fact that scholarship athletes got 20 points on the old scale. If the point system gave a chance to disadvantaged kids who want to go to college and succeed, I'm all for it. If the point system gave the football or basketball team the chance to have some dumbass high school athlete they're recruiting actually be accepted at U-M, then I'm against it.

There are way too many kids just using the university to get noticed by pro teams, not because they have any academic interest. I think that's a shame. The argument is that U-M makes a lot of money from the football team so shut up little girl or your tuition will go up, but how much of that football (or basketball, or hockey) money actually makes it out of the athletic department? Maybe funds from the football team are doing something like keeping women's volleyball afloat, but I have a simple solution: let's just abolish college sports altogether.

srah - Tuesday, 24 June 2003 - 9:18 AM

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Comments (10)

gravatar katie - June 24, 2003 - 12:00 PM -

Here are my thoughts:

1) In KatieLand, the only students allowed into universities would be those who are actually interested in learning something. And ALL of them would be accepted.

2) The reality, however, is that there are also students who attend not because they want to learn, but because they know a college education is almost requisite for getting a decent job. In KatieLand, all of these students would be given a pat on the head for responsable thinking. Then, they would ALL be accepted into universities that are separate from those with students who want to learn.

3) Everybody else can go to dumb jock college.

All of this can be paid for with our military defense funds.

gravatar Erica - June 24, 2003 - 1:03 PM -

Amen on the athlete factor. A lot of folks who have been debating the issue keep pushing that bit to the side, because that part's not about racism.

My point is, no matter what we all agree is the "right" way to do admissions, no college can afford to implement it properly.

And the athletic budget is completely separate from the rest of the university's budget. You could go into the whole argument of how sports lends to atmosphere and reputation. I don't think college sports are a bad thing, as a rule, but of course there are glaring examples of abuse of the academic system by the athletics department. Seems like the colleges with the best teams have the stupidest athletes.

gravatar mday - June 24, 2003 - 1:08 PM -

This topic always gets me fired up! First of all, the whole athletics/college thing just kills me. My brother goes to the UoM and had to endure a year living next to 2 guys from the UoM football special teams line. Basically you have to be crazy to be on that line. Anyways, my brother, an A student in the undergrad mechanical engineering program, had to endure a year of physical and verbal threats, bass blasting through his walls at 3 in the morning on a school night, and a bunch of other stuff that someone in the dorms should not have to deal with. Basically these guys scared even the RA's and thus nothing could be done. Finally at the end of the school year, after writing and calling the dean of students multiple times, the players were asked to keep it down. Thats it. Talk about preferential treatment.

This brings me to my stance on this. I dont think that the nation's ACADEMIC institutions should be the breeding ground for professional sports. Hey, I played a couple sports in college and that was great, granted I went to a division 3 school where scholarships are not supposed to be allowed for athletics (although they are, even at Albion in the form of "outside" donations). If these people want to try to play sports professionally there should be minor leagues for all sports that players can go to directly out of high school, or even before they graduate high school if they are that good. Probably 75 percent of the athletes in the big name sports in college could care less about their education that they are getting at a top school like the UoM. As far as Im concerned those athletes are taking the spot of someone who actually cares about their acadmeics and would like to attend the school. The worst part about it is that schools have become so dependent on the money that is brought in by the big name sports alone that we have a societal addiction problem on our hands.

The other part of this whole supreme court ruling is with respect to affirmative action. There is no way around it, this is discrimination plain and simple. I completely agree that certain students just do not have the chance growing up to realistically compete for spots in our nation's institutions, but that does not mean that the solution is to wrong someone who deserves one of those spots. The true problem is that we are not starting at the ROOT of the problem. That root starts at age 0 on up through elementary, middle and high school. This problem is in the form of education not tailored for individuals, lack of education funding (we seem to have enough for defense spending as someone astutely put), and some general societal problems. We need to start with early education and healthy adult involvement in these children's lives. Trying to make up for 18 years of mistakes with admitting someone to college when their abilities are not to the caliber of others is a dire mistake.

I wish that money was not a big part of the solution, but it is. With more money, class sizes can drastically decrease thus increasing the level of individual instruction students can receive. We can also pay our teachers more, thus bringing more competent people into teaching. I was in a masters program for teaching and I was amazed at the ignorance that I found in teachers. It amazed me that these teachers had passed their certification tests. For crying out loud, these are supposed to be the EXPERTS teaching our kids (or at least they should know their mathematical order of operations, parentheses first, then mult & divide then add & subtract amongst other things).

I completely believe in the need for diversity in our academic institutions, but lets not have that at the expense of some students just because they happend to be of a certain color. Why don't we take 10% of the almost $400 billion dollar defense budget and apply that to the education budget (thus almost doubling it from $50 billion to $90 billion) I dont know. Education is always a hot topic, but our leaders tend not to talk too much about it after they are elected. After all, a kindergartener is not going to put $100,00 into a politician's pocket anytime soon, but a defense contractor sure will!

Hey thats my $.02 on the issue. I can write a lot more, but I have probably already annoyed a bunch of people. Let me know what you think.


gravatar katie - June 24, 2003 - 1:13 PM -

Amen. And then some.

gravatar srah - June 24, 2003 - 1:13 PM -

I think I've unleashed a comment-monster. Ha ha! I am uber-powerful!

gravatar srah - June 24, 2003 - 1:13 PM -

What are you doing these days, MDay?

gravatar mday - June 24, 2003 - 1:25 PM -

Im at work. Needed to take a break so I thought I would ruin everyone else's day by writing my doctoral thesis on your blog. I will try to refrain myself next time.

gravatar jday - June 24, 2003 - 3:21 PM -

that's my pookie!

gravatar mday - June 24, 2003 - 3:33 PM -

Refrain myslef?? EEEkkk. I dont think you can even say that. I meant to say restrain myself. My bad. Getting out the white vest now.

gravatar srah - June 25, 2003 - 7:31 AM -

You can refrain yourself if you want. There's plenty of room.

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