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Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Hold on! It's also clear based on this type of questioning what answers might be seen as desirable by an admissions office. I highly doubt that a student would actually tell a university that studying every day is unimportant. This is not to say that the standard admissions system currently in place is at all perfect.
I, for one, sympathize with students who express reservations over having to cram information about themselves into word essays. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean that a personality quiz is a good substitute.
There are plenty of ways to revise the current structure without relying on a test with dubious results and somewhat transparent motives. In terms of admissions essays, it's all about asking the right questions and allowing students the proper space to articulate their answers.
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The Tufts University Admissions Office, for instance, asks students to tell the college what makes them happy, or to "celebrate [their] nerdy side. At Rose-Hulman, the admissions office is ready to add a psychology tool, called "the locus of control," that it thinks is a cheat-proof way to get to your very being and beliefs. It's a series of statements, such as "I'm going to college because it's expected of me," or "Studying every day is important. Score it against a rubric to see where on the spectrum you fall: On one end, people feel they run the world. On the other, they feel they can't help anything that happens to them.
Students who say they have some control over life's events — known as having an internal locus of control — have been more likely to stay at Rose-Hulman and succeed, Goecker said. That's as opposed to people who fall on the other end of the scale, he said, with an external locus of control, and think, "It's the professor's fault. It doesn't matter what I do.
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Nothing is going to change. Rose-Hulman already uses the locus of control to examine retention rates from freshman to sophomore year and determine winners of highly competitive scholarships, Goecker said. It could become part of the application process as early as next year. Rose-Hulman also is looking into a "curiosity index" that gauges, well, curiosity. It could peek into how students problem-solve, Goecker said.
Well, that's a curious mindset. It goes well beyond what we want in the classroom.
Initial results didn't necessarily correlate with retention or success rates, so Rose-Hulman won't factor the curiosity index into admissions.