Universities: The Search for Something Else

While proven classroom performance remains the best ticket to college, other qualities can also turn the trick — a wild sense of humor, a weird hobby, or almost anything that sets a student off from the ordinary. Anxious to tap un usual attributes that may not show up in a high school senior's grades or test scores, college admissions officials are relying more heavily on references from school principals and personal inter views with the applicant himself. In selecting next year's freshmen, the nation's leading universities took extra pains to seek out...

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