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Is the Covid generation ready for college?

Is the Covid generation ready for college?

Times Higher Education

Liam Knox for Inside Higher Ed
October 25, 2023
Admissions officers and application readers at Emory University will gather at the Atlanta campus next week for their first training session of the admissions cycle. The training will cover a number of new topics, including how to build a diverse class while complying with the Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action and how to identify essays written by ChatGPT.
Another vexing challenge they face: how to assess the college readiness of applicants who started high school on Zoom during the pandemic, and whose education was disrupted to the point that it is hard to know how much they actually learned in secondary school.
“There isn’t a simple answer to that problem,” said John Latting, Emory’s dean of admissions and assistant vice-provost for undergraduate enrolment. “We’re just trying to get back to best practices on evaluating applicants, because it will be difficult.”
The extent of that problem is just becoming clear. Last week, the ACT released its national average score for the Class of 2023: a 19.5 out of 36, the lowest it’s been in more than 30 years and the sixth consecutive year of decline. The most precipitous year-on-year ACT score decline came last year, when it fell from 20.3 to 19.8, dipping below 20 for the first time since 1991.
Ed Venit, managing director of EAB, the college marketing and enrolment service provider, said the ACT scores were “the first good data” he’s seen on the college preparedness of the pandemic generation – and it’s not reassuring.
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