Online Learning Update

July 14, 2021

Admission by lottery: A proposal to reimagine college acceptance

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Andy Uhler and Erika Soderstrom, MarketPlace

Over the years, Michael Sandel, a political philosophy professor at Harvard University, noticed a shift in his students. He observed that increasingly his students believed their admission into college was based primarily on years of hard work. This view, however, disregards the roles that outside assistance, luck, privilege and affluence play in college pursuits. To help shed light on these forces, Sandel has proposed an admissions lottery system, highlighted in his book “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?” The process would work just like it sounds: Create a pool of qualified applicants that have hit a certain mark, then randomly distribute them until spots at schools are filled. That’s the basic process, although there are variations of the admissions lottery system Sandel has put forth.

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