The DRC Blew It


 The DRC Blew It

I read it from someone's blog!

The DRC Blew It is the perfect name for this story, because that's exactly what happened. As of this writing, The DRC has blown up in popularity with an initial enrollment of almost 8500. I feel that there doesn't need to be much discussion surrounding the failure of the program, but I'll detail a few highlights nonetheless.

Individuals who were selected into The DRC did not receive both their general admission acceptance letter and confirmation email one hour after they had completed their signup at midnight EST on March 31st. Many people didn't receive an acceptance email until 12:01AM on April 1st.
The DRC website was not properly configured. Admins did not consistently grab data from the site every 10 minutes, so program data was often outdated within a few hours of being entered. During this time, the DRC would show very high enrollment rates for individual programs. These numbers were always incorrect, and often greatly exceeded both general admission waitlist and past waitlist figures by 50 or more percent. In truth, there were ever only about 3500 applicants to The DRC at any one time (some people applied multiple times).
Contrary to repeated statements by the Director of Admissions, enrollment figures for the program as a whole did not correspond with general admission waitlist figures. The DRC's average waitlist numbers were continually higher than the number of people who had successfully applied to the program. On several occasions, over 1000 applicants better than average for general admission and waitlist enrollment were rejected from The DRC.
As of this writing, the Director of Admissions is planning to announce a March 1st deadline for data entry into The DRC's database - which will almost certainly result in even lower enrollment numbers when compared with past reports.
"The University of Chicago is a community that prizes inclusion and celebrates difference. Diversity and openness to new experiences are essential to our academic mission and are among the core values on which we build our community. We believe that students should be selected not only for their outstanding accomplishments but for who they are as individuals. Our ability to attract, develop, and graduate exceptional students—the best of all backgrounds—is strengthened by a diverse educational environment."
"Diversity here takes many forms: ethnic, economic, social, linguistic, regional, national, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age —and more. We especially welcome applications from members of groups historically underrepresented in higher education. We also seek applicants from groups that we have not traditionally recruited. At the University of Chicago, all are welcome."
"The Division of Admissions here is committed to recruitment excellence, both to attract excellent applicants and to provide a supportive academic environment for all students. The university strives to make a positive difference through its outreach efforts offering information about the Division, visiting campuses and engaging with prospective students and their families."
Powerful words. Powerful words emphasizing diversity. But after telling so many people they were accepted through The DRC program when in reality that was impossible, it's time for the University of Chicago administration to stop acting like it means anything. As a result of The DRC's incredibly flawed process, the University of Chicago is in a worse position than ever before for cashing in on its liberal reputation.
The real reason for The DRC's failure has little to do with the University of Chicago, and much more to do with the staff and administration that manage The DRC. Personally, I don't have much faith in the individuals who managed the program from day-to-day; I've dealt with administrators like them before. They are people who care about numbers more than students, and they can't admit that their decision to run a program in such an ineffective way will ruin it. The University of Chicago is a highly prestigious school, but it doesn't deserve this catastrophe.

In the end, I believe that a lot of people will be upset with me for this blog post. If you are the parent of a high schooler planning on attending college in a year or two, you're probably thinking "Oh yeah well what about my kid? You don't care about HER future!". And this is true. I'm not concerned with your kid's future, I'm concerned with my own. As I said before, there are plenty of good schools to go to. You can send your kid anywhere and they'll probably be fine. But this isn't an issue that only affects me.

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