LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — From advanced placement courses to standardized test scores, the pressure of getting into college can be overwhelming.

But that might soon change as researchers at Harvard University released a report Wednesday called Turning the Tide.

The report offers series of recommendations to reshape the college admissions process so that being a good person is as important as one’s SAT score.

Matt Fissinger is the director of admissions at Loyola Marymount University, one of the 80-plus universities that has endorsed the Harvard report.

“We expect them to be well-prepared and to be accomplished students, to be ready when they come to our campuses but a certain number of AP courses, a certain number or pattern of activities, those aren’t all required,” he said.

Some of the report’s recommendations include making standardized testing optional, reducing the amount of extracurricular activities required, and encouraging kids not to overload on AP classes.

“The pressure is enormous,” said Alexis White, who runs the A-List College Admissions Consulting group. “I would say the pressure starts really in elementary school,”

White thinks colleges are tired of seeing over coached applications and not real kids.

“When I have a client who says, ‘Oh, I had a job this summer. I don’t know if that’s interesting. I worked at my local frozen yogurt shop’ and I go, ‘Great. You’re a human. You had a job. That’s a wonderful thing,’ ” she said.

The report also cites a recent survey of more than 10,000 middle and high school students asking them what’s most important to them: individual achievement, happiness, or caring for others. Only 22 percent said caring for others.

Students and their parents are also encouraged to expand on what they consider a good college.


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