Admissions officers are charged by our institutions with the recruitment and selection of the students who will most enrich our respective collegiate communities, says Martha Allman, dean of admissions at Wake Forest University and contributor to the new book SAT Wars, by Joseph Soares, for the Washington Post. Those of us who are more seasoned often refer to our profession as “a mixture of art and science.” Predictive modeling and market research can certainly inform decision-making but, in reality, much depends on past experience and gut instinct. Depending on your perspective, it’s either witchcraft or magic. How is it, then, that we are to successfully carry out our charge when 17-year-olds will be 17-year-olds? Though we know the best indicator of their performance in college is academic record, how can we quantify our predictions?

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