22.1.07

DIFFICULT LESSONS LEARNED. Last fall, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel started following three freshmen through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (home of the "Milwaukee Panthers," for sports fans.) After one semester, one is making good progress, one is managing the additional freedom and might manage the academics, and one is out. The paper's conclusions: a stronger high school matters, passion for the work matters, compatible friends matter, and the record of student support services is mixed. Universities might not be able to control the high schools their applicants attend, but they can send the message to high schools that the days of high school-in-college, otherwise known as "remediation," are over. They may not be able to control the commitment students have for their work, but essays and test scores might tell admissions offices something about that motivation. The screen for motivated students might have the effect of screening out the party set, making it more likely that freshmen will encounter relatively more motivated classmates.

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