Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baylor responds to incentives again

A friend of mine wisely sent me this article in the NY Times today. Baylor is paying incoming freshmen to re-take their SATs in an effort to boost the scores and help improve Baylor's spot in various rankings. Universities are always competing for higher rankings and incoming freshmen SAT scores is one measure of a school's standing. The Admissions department sees this as a "win-win," Baylor wins with a higher ranking and students who see scores improve improve with eligibility for financial aid.

Some faculty are in an uproar because they feel it's intellectually dishonest. But these are the same faculty that don't feel it's intellectually dishonest to be the only school in their conference with a + only grading system for undergrads in order to artificially inflate their GPAs (also for ranking purposes). I wrote a post on this 2 years ago. One Baylor student commented then that they needed the grade inflation because Baylor students were at a disadvantage. Disadvantage? The median Baylor student is from a family with household income far about the national median.

Between the above and the odious rancor and infighting I read about in the Baylor Alumni magazine, I can't imagine donating to the school anytime soon.

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