PREP no failure

In response to the Tuesday article titled “Race” (p. 10), I wanted to say that GW dropped the ball by eliminating the Pre-College Review and Enrichment Program. Unfortunately, it seems that “GW dropping the ball” is starting to get a little redundant around here.

Before the story was run, a friend of mine told me that the percentage of black freshmen decreased from last year. She went on to say that she felt that the elimination of the PREP program was a partial reason for this decline.

If, on paper, the program were successful, GW never would have dropped the program. After a moment, I hypothesized that the retention of those students admitted through PREP was rather low. My friend told me that students went through the summer program and were enrolled without any follow-up work; I guessed that my assessment was partially correct.

At a time when quotas have become a dirty word and maintaining diversity has become a catch-22, GW had a gem of a program in PREP. Having a program that went out and recruited local youths who might not have the same grade point averages, college entrance exam scores as our friends from Long Island, GW had put itself ahead of the rest by putting some faith into the students admitted through PREP.

GW admitted students under PREP for a reason: it had faith that those students could succeed at our fine institution. It is evident that three months of PREP wasn’t enough to help a lot of those students succeed. As the students were admitted conditionally, GW should have done more to help these students through school. How much more? I don’t know. What I do know is they should have done something other than label the program a failure.

-Dan LarsenDirector of Institutional Research for the Student Association

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