Pardon my jadedness about college admissions, but Grant Colfax graduated from college in 1987 and I know my own three homeschooled kids were admitted to three separate schools in the late 1990s. Homeschooled-kid-in-college is no longer a man-bites-dog story. Or is this kind of report a slow news day case of ‘all the news that fits, we’ll print?’
Schooled at Home Children educated away from public schools are finding less hurdles in college, 20 November 2007, Daily Herald, Provo, Utah
Aside from the ‘which way do you want us to read it?’ flavor of the report the article just seems to be a compilation of generic information and human interest interviews.
The headline reels in readers with a report of fewer hurdles, but the first sub-headline is “Admissions hurdles” (I’m suppressing my Language Policeman’s pique at “less hurdles”). I would ask which way are we supposed to think about how homeschooled applicants are accepted by colleges, but the repetition of the word “hurdles” gives us the mental image of special difficulties, instead of perhaps the picture conjured up by ‘paths smoothed.’ BYU has had enough time to evaluate students who were homeschooled as it has been 18 years since Alexandra Swann received her degree from that school.
In the article, ‘attaboy’ compliments about homeschoolers,
“They are very serious about higher education and their family is very serious about their education, …”
… are offset by the cautious warnings that are the hallmark of an article through which the writer seems to mean to give a balanced look at a subject,
“Home-schooled students are asked to have an ACT score of at least 27, if they don’t have a valid GPA.”
A “valid” GPA? I understand that this means a GPA based on grades given by people with supposedly no interest in the work of the person being graded, but “valid?” Phrasing the difference between the two score requirements with one being “valid” leaves the other one, by default, the characterization of ‘invalid.’
I’d almost feel as if I’m kvetching, but reports get picked up and spread.
Word choice matters — it’s what’s ‘between the lines.’
posted by Valerie