Grades and test scores should be top factors in college admissions

Thursday, August 18th, 2022

The U.S. public continues to think that grades and test scores should be top factors in college admissions:

More than nine-in-ten Americans (93%) say high school grades should be at least a minor factor in admissions decisions, including 61% who say they should be a major factor. Grades are, by far, the criteria the public says should most factor into admissions decisions. This is followed by standardized test scores (39% major factor, 46% minor factor) and community service involvement (19% major, 48% minor), according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted March 7-13, 2022.

Nearly half of Americans (46%) say someone being the first in their family to go to college should be either a major (18%) or minor (28%) factor in admissions decisions, while a similar share say athletic ability should factor into these decisions (9% major, 36% minor).

By comparison, nearly three-quarters of Americans or more say gender, race or ethnicity, or whether a relative attended the school should not factor into admissions decisions.

The relative importance of each of these factors is unchanged since 2019.


  1. Bruce says:

    Ed Realist thinks grades are fake.

  2. Wang Wei Lin says:

    Merit is racism don’t ya’ know.

  3. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Back in the days of the Battle of Britain, never had so many owed so much to so few — all of those pilots white & male at the beginning, many of them dead at the end.

    Now Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force has determined that anyone who is white & male need not apply. At the same time, the UK is pushing its war with Russia. What if the situation is that Russia choses its pilots based on skill, while Jolly Olde England choses its pilots based on bra size? Any guesses on the likely outcome of future air combat?

    That Roman Emperor who made his horse a Senator was smarter than the punters who run Her Majesty’s domains.

  4. Altitude Zero says:

    The assumption among Western militaries seems to be that their armed forces will never again have to face a peer or near-peer military in actual combat. Given what we see in Ukraine and the South China Sea these days, that assumption may prove to be erroneous.

  5. Mike-SMO says:

    The policy of recruiting the second rate people seems to be a jobs program for the mid to lower tier of applicants to replace decent positions that have been “offshored”. These people have to be stuck someplace, independent of the effect on the economy or the military. This is an attempt tonhide the gutting of national capability.

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