So the Higher Education Works Foundation asked the man whose office reviewed 35,875 applications for 4,254 positions in Carolina’s freshman class this year.1
“We’re not looking for a particular number or a particular set of numbers,” Stephen Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, says in the accompanying video.
“There’s no number that measures a student. There’s no set of numbers that can tell us the whole story of a young person – what she’s done, what he’s capable of doing, how far they’ve traveled.”
Standardized tests give only a rough idea of a student’s capabilities, Farmer says.
“The tests don’t predict with precision what any individual student has done, is capable of doing…. They certainly don’t tell us the sum of any one person, but they give us a rough idea.”
“Academically, it helps to be curious. It helps to be interested in school,” he says. “Goodheartedness, curiosity, willingness to track down the answer even when it’s hard to find.”
As the gatekeeper for a public university, the admissions office looks for students from all walks of life, he says.
“We don’t think there is a Carolina student. We think there are thousands of Carolina students. And we’re willing to be surprised, and we’re willing to be actually overjoyed, thrilled, by the things young people tell us about themselves that we weren’t expecting to find,” he says.