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Building the Intentional UniversityMinerva and the Future of Higher Education$
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Stephen M. Kosslyn and Ben Nelson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037150

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037150.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

An Admissions Process for the Twenty-First Century

An Admissions Process for the Twenty-First Century

(p.277) 20 An Admissions Process for the Twenty-First Century
Building the Intentional University

Neagheen Homaifar

Ben Nelson

Stephen M. Kosslyn

The MIT Press

When we started Minerva, we had the opportunity to define the type of students we wanted to accept and also the unique privilege and challenge of creating an admissions process to identify these pioneering students. Rather than inherit a legacy system of standardized tests (e.g., the SAT), resumes and cookie-cutter essays that distort student profiles and reward wealth over merit, we built our process from the ground up. We created a holistic admissions process that values a combination of curiosity and intelligence, passion and humility, open-mindedness and cultural awareness, and persistence and hard work. This chapter reviews how we built a technologically innovative, globally accessible and algorithmically guided admissions process that has now been used to evaluate nearly 50,000 applicants from over 160 countries. This process has resulted in the most diverse student body of any American institution of higher education without giving any institutionalized advantage to diversity in the process.

Keywords:   holistic admissions, selective admissions, social engineering, merit-based admissions, need-blind financial aid, admissions testing

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