OSU Admissions recognized for holistic admissions policy

March 3rd, 2007

Michele Sandlin, Director of Admission at Oregon State University, presented on OSU’s holistic admissions policy at the annual national conference of AACRAO. Published by Scott Jaschik (who attended the session and published the story the following day) from Inside Higher Ed.com:

In holistic admissions, colleges evaluating applicants replace grids of grades and test scores with more individualized reviews of would-be students. The practice is most commonly associated with liberal arts colleges or with public universities at which affirmative action has been banned.

Oregon State University is in neither category, but over the last six years it has moved to holistic admissions — with success that is attracting other colleges’ attention. The university has managed to use holistic admissions to increase diversity and retention, and to do so without adding lots of admissions staffers. Michele Sandlin, director of admissions at Oregon State, outlined the program Thursday in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

See the entire article and comments.

(3/6/07) An addendum to the holistic approach: homeschooled students benefit from this process as they are able to communicate to Admissions through the Insight Resume what their other skills are that can translate to college success. Note the UC schools beginning to see the light.

(4/12/07) Dropped CNN link (thanks, Mat Denver). They have relocated the story, and I can’t find it! -bv


21 responses to “OSU Admissions recognized for holistic admissions policy”

  1. […] Admissions: Oregon State University’s holistic admissions policy was recently featured in Inside Higher Education.com. In holistic admissions, colleges evaluating […]

  2. mat denver says:

    the CNN link don’t work !!!

  3. Soccerbud says:

    really? I thought holistic review was limited to graduate admission only. However, its nice to hear that undergraduate admission has undertaken the same idea.

    Also, is it true that
    this graduat admission committees are starving for US citizen applicants?

  4. Frank Stine says:

    Maybe you could find a better term than ‘holistic’, which implies some sort of New Age stuff.

  5. Blake says:

    ho·lis·tic (hÅ?-lÄ­s’tÄ­k) Pronunciation Key

    1. Of or relating to holism.
    1. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
    2. Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts: holistic medicine; holistic ecology.

    ho·lis’ti·cal·ly adv.
    (Download Now or Buy the Book)
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    Holistic admissions is truly that: Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. We aren’t making g.p.a. or test scores or who an applicant’s parents are the sole basis for offering admission to someone. We look at the whole picture, all parts, and our Insight Resume(TM) is a tool that helps bring it all together by allowing us to know more about the applicant than just how they did on a test on a particular Saturday morning.

    Holistic is the term used within higher education. Do you have suggestions about what to call it?

  6. How about Inclusive? Comprehensive?

    ‘Holistic’ really does imply an old Indian guy in a nightshirt on a hilltop to a lot of us.

  7. […] you are a regular reader of the Admissions Blog, you know that OSU and our Insight Resume have been on the leading edge of measuring non cognitive abilities in university admissions. So […]

  8. […] has not auto admission. In general, the 3.0 GPA along with completing the core curriculum and the Insight Resume will put a student in a good position for admission…Again, though, there are no […]

  9. Jordans says:

    I truley believe a holistic approach would deem not only better graduates in the long run – but in turn, more money for the school itself. Maybe not directly right away, but the holistic approach would bring genuine money in the long run.

  10. Corey says:

    As I am approaching my masters program – I feel this is a better program then that of one that just filters our applications based on past grades.

    I hope this can carry over to other schools as I think this would benefit new students everywhere.

  11. Resume Guru says:

    Can oanyone find the cnn link for me?
    I am looking for it as I am creating notes for a project..

  12. cheap nike says:

    is it true that.but the holistic approach would bring genuine money in the long run.

  13. Comprehensive?but in turn, more money for the school itself.

  14. Matt says:

    @ cheap nike and @ cheap handbags — the university sees no money from this application policy.

  15. I am a struggling college student – anyway to keep my costs down is what I am in favor of.

  16. Hgh says:

    I am unable to open cnn link?

  17. Elder Abuse says:

    Ok, so I don’t know how this would work for non-liberal arts majors. For example, with mathematics, you would want someone with demonstrated quantitative skillsets when they come out of high school. Isn’t the holistic approach a little too subjective? I would love to see the stats on this approach at OSU since it is now over two years later….

  18. What do you all guys want to say and what does holistic approach means?

  19. Marleigh says:

    Basically, that means that we take all aspects of a students admissions file (gpa, curriculum, test scores, insight resume) into consideration when making an admissions decision.

  20. Rob Paige says:

    Holistic is an odd term to use with education. It is usually in the context of natural medicine. Perhaps it should stay there.

  21. Yeah, not sure that holistic is the right word for it either. Interesting article though…

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