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The Telegram
  • NY’s Bard College offers new application method

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  • A liberal arts college in New York state is offering high school students an alternate to the standard college application process — they can try to write their way in.
    Bard College is adding the option this fall, The New York Times reported Sunday.
    High school seniors can write four papers, each 2,500 words, based on topics and resources provided by the college. If the papers meet a high enough standard, the writers are accepted, even if they don’t have the best high school transcripts. Topics range from philosophy to science.
    Bard College President Leon Botstein said it was a way to focus on a vital question, of whether the students applying can do college-level work.
    “It’s kind of declaring war on the whole rigmarole of college admissions and the failure to foreground the curriculum and learning,” he said, calling the research paper approach a “return to basics, to common sense.”
    Bard has already taken standardized tests like the SAT out of its admission requirements.
    Students who opt for the research paper application route will have to sign a statement that they’ve done their own work and must provide a character reference if accepted.
    Botstein said he wasn’t focused on cheating concerns.
    “Why not show a measure of trust? Go the other direction, not assume the kid is going to cheat on you,” he said. “Let’s take the high road.”
    Bard will continue to use a more standard application process as well. The college is in Annandale-on-Hudson in Dutchess County, about 100 miles north of New York City.
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    Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com
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