Saturday, January 3, 2015

Favorite comments of '14, cont: GoogleMaster, Auntie Ann, and Jeff Boulier

On December's baffler:
GoogleMaster said...
Since engineering schools already admit non-English-speaking students who cheated on the TOEFL, and may have cheated on the SAT also (see various recent articles on that subject), they should certainly consider a student who already speaks and reads and understands English natively -- as long as it's unambiguous -- who did NOT cheat on his SATs, and who is willing and able to understand and dig into the math and engineering parts.

I would look for a smaller school with a high population of, shall we say, quirky nerds, with a good Disability Services department, e.g.

Also check on -- there's a whole section of the discussion forum devoted to School and College Life, and there are probably some threads with tips for applying to colleges with unbalanced SATs.

Auntie Ann said...
There are trade-offs with small schools, though. If you are looking for a good peer group, sometimes it's easier to find at a large school, with a greater variety of people with different interests, than at a small one. With a small school, sometimes there just aren't enough people around to be friends with.

Jeff Boulier said...
have a friend, and old co-worker, who would partially fit this description. I don't know what the exact difference between this native-born English speaker's Math/Verbal score was, but at least one college requested that he take the TOEFL. He quickly dropped out of the moderately-selective school he was admitted to, but continued to work at the university's computer center. He's wound up doing quite well in life.

Whatever his learning disability was -- or, indeed, if he had one, I never knew. (*) His wife told me once that she was proud that she'd managed to get him reading magazines and credited herself with great improvements in his verbal skills.

Anyway, the point of this story, if there is one, is that with a huge variance between verbal & math scores, colleges may just assume that he's an immigrant. (In a sense, this is problematic, because it could lead to him being admitted to a too-demanding school.)

(*) My friend was definitely not "weird" by IT standards, though admittedly these are kind of loose.

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