I. IntroductionAmerican higher education has achieved a great success in the world. There are eight universities from America in the top ten global universities ranking. Even top five universities are all from United States. The first is Harvard University, second is Stanford University, and Yale University, California Institute of Technology and university of California at Berkeley in turn. Much more than that, American colleges often play dominant roles in some single subject. For example, Harvard Medical School is second to none in medicine. West Point is the best military academy in the world. American higher education makes great achievements in the world. Admission system is one of the most important parts in higher education. The possession of perfect admission system is the guarantee for higher education. Actually admission systems are changing all the time with the change of limitations. From elite education to open enrollment system and selective system, admission systems has been changing with different limitations in order to solve problems in limitations, so admission system has been improved generation by generation. But There are still many limitation in the current American college admission system. The thesis will talk about right direction for development trend of American college admission system at last. Admission system changed because limitations changed.II. The Development of American College Admission SystemAmerican higher education, from elite education in the colonial period to popularization education, has gone through many kinds of admission system. The change of admission system is because of changing limitations. With the change of limitation, American admission system has gone through from the select system and recommend system to synthesized selective system, open enrollment system and selective system.2.1 Elite EducationFrom the colonial period to the fifty years after Civil War, the main admission system in American was select system and recommendation system. Students in college were mostly white men who from rank and fashion. Almost no women，black people or ethnic groups. Education was elite at that time.2.1.1 Select SystemEducational institute hadn’t colleges as nowadays in colonial period. Educational institutes was only one schoolmaster and one or two teachers. Who could be enrolled was based on introduction from local priests. Institute could select any students who introduced by local priests. Institutes almost had the same admission system that was select system. The way of selecting was based on introduction from local priests and the oral. The oral included Greek, Latin and mathematics.At that time, institutes were limited by scale and facilities. School was small scale and facilities were simple and crude. Teaching level also fell behind than Europe colleges. Because select system had so many limitations that a new enrollment system appeared. That was recommendation system.2.1.2 Recommendation System.With the developing of Morrill Act of 1862 after Civil War, the amount of college was increasing. Select system couldn’t adapt to the increasing of students. College admission systems were began to change. For instance, Yale University needed examinees to take a botany exam, but Columbia University need physics and chemistry exam. American government wanted to resolve all these limitations, so they made a new admission system that was recommendation system. The recommendation system originated from University of Michigan in 1870. Recommendation system refer to the university estimated middle school and then selected the “approve middle school, the students graduated from the approve middle school could be recommended to the university. Until the nineteen nineties this kind of system was still pervades in America.Not only the select system in early time but also recommendation systems all have the same limitation. Students of the college almost were white boys who come from noble family or children from rich families. Students were almost on poor or girls. These were the serious limitations in American college admission at that time.2.2 Educational PopularizationFrom nineteenth century to twentieth century, public university had developed so fast. The amount of middle school students was increased. According to statistics, US population was increased threefold but amount of middle school students was increasing from eighty thousand to seven million. So recommendation system was serious limit. To resolve this kind of limitations, a new admission system was emerged. Synthesized selective system was became the main admission at that time, and American higher education began to the educational popularization.2.2.1 Synthesized Selective SystemWith the fast development of economy in United States, recommendation system couldn’t adapt to the increasing of students. Because of this kind of limitation, to unify the entrance examination was extremely urgent.The president of Columbia University and University of Maryland decided to create a new college entrance examination and established the College Entrance Examination Board in 1899. College Entrance Examination Board changed the test content in 1926.The Scholastic Aptitude Test, short for SAT was first held. SAT don’t include the basic knowledge, it investigate students whether have the ability in college. And then College Entrance Examination Board held another test named American College Test, short for ACT. ACT included the basic knowledge and basic skills in middle school textbooks. SAT was held seven times per year and ACT was five times. Five years later College Entrance Examination Board became a national organization. SAT and ACT had became the mainstay for synthesized selective system. Synthesized selective system expanded the number of people in the examination and solved the limitation of enrollment at that time.2.2.2 Open Enrollment System and Selective System.After the Second World War, America need large quantities of talent for the development at top speed, for that reason, community colleges were rose spring up after the fifties. Community colleges are comprehensive universities. Finance support by the local government. The admission of community college was open enrollment system. This system let more and more young people receive the higher education. Community college also cultivated many technicians for American post-war reconstruction. Open enrollment of community college was tended to all middle school graduates who reside near the college. On the other hand, the admissions of some well-known private universities were selective system. For example, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University or West Point, these kinds of universities have so many applicants every year. In that reason admission office must select the most outstanding students. This kind of admission is selective system. The objective of selective system was cultivated elites.From fifties 20th Century America had been set up reasonable college admissionsystem. Open enrollment system and selective system are adapted to the American pluralism education.2.3 Reasons of American College Admission System DevelopmentTill this day, American college admission system has gone through from select system, recommend system, synthesized selective system to open enrollment system and selective system. The change of admission system is because of changing limitations. Another reason is increase in population. Population is objective cause and limitations change is subjective cause.2.3.1 Increase in PopulationThe turn of the century American commercial yield had become first in the world. Different kinds of education and secondary education had developed at top speed after Second World War. From 1900 to 1948 the demography of United States had grown twice, but the number of college students grown tenfold. The reason was great depression at that time. So it hard for young people to found a job. For this reason, many young people swarmed into the college .After the Second World War, there was another reason influenced the enrollment that was the Servicement’s Readjustment Act of 1944. Proposed law stipulated that the man who on active service more than ninety days must be provided access to schooling one year at least.The two major reasons have made the increase in number of college students. Because the Servicement’s Readjustment Act of 1944，American higher education entered educational popularization.2.3.2 Changes in LimitationsFrom elite education to educational popularization, the reason of different admission systems in different periods was limitation changed. So whatever educational plants simple and crude or enrollment increased, all of them can be named limitations. For instance, the limitations of select system were small dimensions, educational plants simple and so on. Government wanted to surmount these kinds of limitation that recommendation system appeared. Another example, there was a serious limitation in elite education period was the disparity between total enrolled and examinee quantity numerous. Total enrolled too little but too many people in the examination. So the government wanted to surmount this limitation that American high education turn into the educational popularization.To sum up limitation changed make the admission system changed. The development of admission system in different periods was in order to resolve limitations one after another.To today American higher education has became the most perfection college education system around the world. Whether today’s American higher education exist limitations? Next chapter will analysis.III. Limitations in Current American College Admission System#p#分页标题#e#Limitations in American College Admission System at Present are decided by external factors and internal factors. External Factors include government regulation, social pressure and racial discrimination. Internal factors include early admission, geographic distribution and workload overuse.3.1 External Factors Limitation is influenced by political, economy and culture. Bokee thought that college couldn't decide admission system by itself. Government, social and racial discrimination bring so many limitations to American universities. These limitations are named external factors.3.1.1 Government RegulationGovernment Regulation means government attaching condition after laws or national funding. If the funding just for an activity of college that college decided weather receive the funding. But if college received that funding, it must receive the extra conditions which with the funding. On this occasion, the government has a kind of power to control college“The more dependent on national funding, the more possible to obey order from government. College play an important part in society. So government through law and funding to make the college become a kind of tool for social service and social transformation.”(Higher Education in Transition, John S. Brubacher, 1997: 21)As we know, American education belongs to state government. Most of the state universities are depend on the national funding. Therefore, state university must reflect the wishes from local taxpayers. Otherwise, education investment of next year might be cut down. More and more funding became the main means to intervene college admission system. How much money would be subsidized lie on the number of students. For that reason, many states universities had to change the admission qualifications. Most of them were lower the standard. It made state universities admission criterion different in SAT and ACT.Compared with elite education of private universities, state universities had to expanded number of students to satisfy the local government. One hand expanded number of students, on the other hand quality of education must be reduced. Just has an example from doctor Cheng Xing's book American College. New York University was an excellence college before 1970, especially in mathematics and geography. But in 1972 American Affirmative Action and Women's lib that NYU had to receive government's orders what were open enrollment. In that case, more and more students entered NYU. Because so many students that influence the quality of education. After than New York University became second-rate college. You may ask question. Why did NYU received government's orders? The reason was government regulation. Seventy percent of college fund coming from local government appropriation, so college had to change the system of enrollment. Government and senator don't understand the condition of college than enrollment office. Therefore, government regulation made college more and more mediocre.“Government regulation could influence college own admission. On matter what, government regulation must base on the college development. But most of government regulations limit the college development”.(Harvard University, Jiang Wenmin 1996: 6) Till today government regulation is also a main limitation in American college admission system.3.1.2 Social PressureSocial pressure means juridical person and communitarian give pressure to American college admission system, and the pressure mainly comes from social donation. American social donation had a long history. Except aid financially from federal authority and state government, social donation also plays an important part in college fund. Social donation comes from juridical person and communitarian, such as, communion, schoolfellow, students and philanthropist. The trouble is if the college received the social donation that college must receive the demand of these people. These demand most direct at college admission system. As time passes it became social pressure. Social pressure could be traced back to found time of Harvard University. Harvard University was founded by John Harvard and his three hundred books and eight hundred pound. Ten priests donated a part of books to founded Yale University at the beginning of eighteenth century. John Hopkins donated 3.5 million to found Hopkins University and so on. We can see that American college especially private universities are depending on social donation. With the developing of American higher education, education budget also increase fleetly. Financial strength is the mainstay for college to keep lead.“Only got more and more fund that college could employ outstanding teachers and allocate excellent facilities. When government donation became less and less that social donation became more and more important for American colleges. American economist Howard Bowen gave a simple formula to summarize how important of social donation for American college," Try hard to get more social donation, and try hard to use it.” (Donald Kennedy2002: 14)At present the richest social donation foundation is Harvard University. It have reached 226 billion dollar. Maybe the donation has exceeded some countries' GDP. Social donation has become a kind of signs for college reputation. The more excellence university, the more donation be received.Social donation is an effective way to resolve college shortage of funds. But the limitations also appeared after donation. It is social pressure. Donator could carry their points through donation. They also can own the power of administration of college. Sometimes donator gets their order by donation. For instance, college must enroll the people who related to donator. In that case, social donators have already intervened American college admission system, and limit college admission system too. School receive social donation, at the same time colleges have to receive inequality enrollment order. Therefore, social donation has become social pressure and social pressure also became a kind of limitation in American college admission system.3.1.3 Racial DiscriminationAmerica is immigrant country, and be developed by people come from different races and nations. American has come to the top of economic and education which be known by all over the world. But racial discrimination still hasn’t been resolved. Racial discrimination also appeared in American college admission system. Racial discrimination has become serious limitation in admission system. There are some famous cases in college enrollment. Such as Adams v. Richardson. Bakke v. Regents of the University of California and Gratz and Hamacher v. Michigan University. Let's simple declaration Adams v. Richardson.In 1970,NAACP and Legal Defence and Education Fund were representative thirty-one African American students prosecuted more than fifty universities which from twenty states. The reason was these universities didn’t observe the sixth of Civil Rights Act. Students thought that all these universities existed discrimination and inequality in college admission system. The result was these universities must observe Civil Rights Act by court demanded and stop racial discrimination in admission system.We can see that government had tried hard to change racial discrimination in admission, but till today racial discrimination still existed in college admission. Not only racial discrimination, there was another serious problem appeared in enrollment. That is reverse discrimination.With the developing of Anti-Apartheid Movement and Woman's Rights, American Education System extended Civil Rights Act, and until Civil Rights Act had been executed by most of American university. But till today Civil Rights Act is opposed by white man. American white man called it Reverse Discrimination. There were many example of case to explain it. But the most famous is "Bakke v. Regents of University from California". Bakke is a white student of California. He didn't be enrolled by University of California who with high mark, But University of California enrolled seventy minority students who with low mark.No matter racial discrimination or reverse discrimination. Both of them can't be balanced in admission system. We can found that racial discrimination has become serious limitation in American admission system. Racial discrimination is the biggest block to achieve education democratization. When colleges face minority and white, they can't balance. Sociologist thought that "education can bright good life and better future. So education has become a social problem.” (American Education, 1989: 123-124)3.2 Internal FactorsAmerican college admission system except government regulation, social pressure, racial discrimination and other external factors, system itself has many internal factors. Internal factors are main because free admission and admission criteria decided by college itself. There are three main internal factors of limitation in American college admission system. They are early admission, geographic distribution and workload overuse.3.2.1 Early AdmissionFrom twentieth century, early admission has been proved to be a good way to competed with other colleges. Early admission could make college more famous, increase enrolment and investment. Students from upper class and teaching for students of sports are two main gropes of students in early admission. From the established time of private universities, they must have opinion of elite education. Private university had become a kind of cradle to bring up social elites. At the same time, college must have a consuetude of early admission for alumni children. Because of adherence and generosity are important parts for private universities. These legacies didn't have clearly exam score. Most of them come from feeder high middle school, and recommend by the president of feeder high middle school. For example, feeder high middle school of Harvard is Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale is Phillips Andover in Massachusetts, acceptance rate also higher than general examinee. “In 2005, acceptance rate of alumni children was 21 percent, but general examinees were only 9.3 percent. As we known, American education is a costly cultural and educational undertaking. College need a great deal fund especially private university. Donation from alumni is an important part for college. Take Harvard University for example, all-in cost of 2002 was one hundred million and fifty thousand. Because of bursaries that a general student just cost one thousand for tuition. So except government investment, the rest is come from contribute of alumni. For that reason the alumni children must be early enrolled.”(Michele A 1997: 175)#p#分页标题#e#Another grope of students in early admission is teaching for students of sports. New York Herald first advanced Ivy Levin to stand for eight football teams from eight famous universities included Harvard and Yale. From than on enrolled students of sports had become a custom. Most of students of sports didn't achieve admission line, but they still be enrolled. Why did college enroll so many teaching for students of sports whose score were lower than genera students? The reason is these students join school team of football, basketball, ice hockey and so on could bring hugeness business opportunity for school. These school teams are called "money team.”(Michele A 1997: 175) From the first American football competed among universities, sport competition had became a kind of profit for any colleges. High-level school team can bring a lot of money for college. Sports investment can bring more money any other activities investment. Maybe drillmaster of school football team is more famous than president of university. In this reason, outstanding students of sports can be enrolled without high score of SAT or ACT.Early admission limit college enrollment, especially the excellent students from common family. Admission number is limited, so alumni children and teaching for students of sports hold a part of number. In 2001, the president of Yale University Richard Levin decided abolish early admission that enrolled more excellent students from common families. But because of the financial budget he must stopped it. Early admission has become a serious limitation in college admission system. Although early admission is been oppose by so many people. But till today it still play a important part in college admission system. Just like Louis Brandeis said "sunshine is best antiseptic.3.2.2 Geographic DistributionFrom the developing of American college we can found that they are different management systems between public and private. Major funding of public university came from state government. Public university is most important part of mass higher education. Admission number is also well over than private university annually. But main target students are local denizen, and rarely students from other states. This case is a limitation of American admission system. We called geographic distribution.Compare enrollment of University of Michigan we can found this limitation clearly. If one local examinee got full marks of SAT could be converted twelve of enrollment mark，but examinee from other states get full score only equal to eight. That means other states students want to entrance university in California as some difficulty as entrance any prestigious private universities.Director Tony Banston of Lillinion Wesleyan University alked about geographic distribution said "university want enroll students from different states, but local government used investment made college had to change admission system. State university must appease wishes from local taxpayer. Enroll more local students and limit other states students. Birnbaum Stadtman thought geographic distribution was one of the most serious limitations in admission system at present .geographic diversity could make education diversification.”Geographic distribution not only limited diversification of high education, but also reduce education opportunities. Geographic distribution limit so many students who want own opportunity to entrance perfect college.3.2.3 Workload OveruseAmerican autonomy and competition education system need consume hugeness manpower and material resources. The span of American college admission not only long time, but also need expend financial ability and manpower. Workload overuse is decided by college admission independence, overall and comprehensive selection. Another reason is competed excellent students. By way of admission office of Harvard University to explain workload overuse.Harvard University enrolled about one thousand new students every year, but the number of apply for admission to Harvard about twenty thousand. Workmen in admission office of Harvard University about one hundred. Which means hundred people must work more than twelve o'clock to check and approve students' information from January to April. For the sake of equity and impartiality and enroll students truly potential that office have heavy responsibility. SAT and ACT aren’t the only two qualification to enroll Harvard. So the office must spend a good chunk of time and energy to read every application materials. Firstly, arrange all application materials from first christcross-row A to Z, and indicate apply time. Secondly, spend about one month write all these information into computer. Thirdly, call every student’s middle school to check information. Sometimes office sent employee to some middle school for find out more particular knowledge of students. Then finish all of these works, office will make a master card include score of SAT and ACT, home address, social security number and so on. Lastly, spend two or three weeks to confirm who could be enrolled. All of these works are finished by hundred people of admission office. Overwork became obviously limitation. From this example we can clearly found limitation of workload overuse. College must spend enough money and manpower in enrollment. Students select college for free, and one middle school student can choose more than three college which he want to entrance. That means admission office of one college spend long time and financial ability and manpower to check information of this student, maybe other two or three college do the some thing. If this be enrolled by all of these colleges and he choose one that other two colleges do the work in vain. This kind of case is very common in American college admission system at present. So workload overuse is serious limitation in admission system.In conclusion, early admission, geographic distribution and workload overuse have become three important limitations in American college admission system at present. External factors and internal factors limit development of American college. American want to resolve all of these limitations, they must depend on community, culture and economy.IV. Development Trend of American College Admission SystemWith the developing of economy and higher education in American, more and more people began to concern about American college admission system. How to solve new limitations have become a new focus questions. We have known that college admission change decided by the change of limitations. In that reason, development trend of American college admission system also decided by how to solve limitations today. How could make admission system adapt to secondary education? How to give more education opportunity to low income class and minority? How to solve the difference between white and black? How to solve external factors and internal factors? All of these limitations must be raveled out with development trend of American college admission system. The development trend of American college admission system depended on how to change today’s limitation.4.1 Supplying Fain Education OpportunityAffirmative Action and Feminist Movement have gave more education opportunities to low income class and minority. But till today education opportunity doesn't in fair. Low income class and minority education opportunities still lower than white people in American today. So supplying the education opportunity in fair is development trend of American college admission system.4.1.1 Supplying Impartial Education Opportunity for People of All Ranks. “There is great gap between rank and fashion and low-income families in American. Different classes and masses have different opportunities college admission. One report from The College Board showed that education opportunity relative to family background. Only fifty-four percent low-income family students entranced college. And eighty-two percent upper-middle-class students entranced university. Tuition increases is another reason for low-income students enter the university. According to statistics, government outlay to public university reduce ten percent from 1998 to 2005.Tuition increase sixteen percent. American government even decided cut down Pell Grant to low-income students in 2005.”(Robert K Fullinwider 2004: 211) Tuition of Harvard, Yale and Princeton such as these kind of famous private university up to forty thousand. Less than ten percent American family can afford.College want to account for this limitation must supply impartial education opportunity for people of all ranks. Such as, college can change excellent scholarship what usually achieve by rich students into provide as need. If do this thing, college can attract more low-income students into college. So it is one method to supply impartial education opportunity for people of all ranks, and also a development trend of American college admission system.4.1.2 Supplying impartial Education Opportunity for All RacesUnited States is a nation of immigrant, minorities couldn't provided as same education opportunities as white people in history. American citizen include five sorts, white race, Asian-pacific, black, Latino and India. College need to supply more education opportunities for all races. There are two important laws for minorities to receive more education opportunities. And both of them are development trend of American college admission system. One is Affirmative Action, another is Higher Education Act. Because of Civil Rights Laws American minorities began another grope to apply more education opportunities for themself. The action called Affirmative Action. This action want apply for more education opportunities to minorities, include Africa-American, Latino and India. Civil Rights Laws ordain that college must supply opportunity in fain for minorities in teacher recruit, student admission and same living condition in college.#p#分页标题#e#American university must leave some qualifiers quota for minority. For example, UC Davis leaved sixteen quota in hundred for minorities in 2007. Higher Education Act is also supply a lot of opportunities for all races. In this act prescribed that gave more special instruction and debased admission requirement for minorities students. Give special bursaries and education loan to minority students. Obviously, both of them are all the development trend of American college admission system. Minorities are important part for American college nowadays. The number of minorities is increasing in American college. Skin students become diversity in college.4.2 Promoting Basic Education American higher education had acquired focus of world success. It is also in the highest flight of the world. But as the same time we must attention to basic education of American. Basic education doesn't acquire as same success as higher education. So one of the most important things for development trend is promoting basic education. At the same time solve the limitation of basic education.As a Chinese student we all know about hard and tired in senior high school. Almost every Chinese middle school students are study day by day and little extracurricular activities. It is unbelievable for American middle school students. There are almost no stress to American middle students and easy classes. Of course one reason for this case is education democratization. But when entranced college they found fall short in basic knowledge. Basic knowledge of American middle school students are weakness than other countries. Government had launched a series of measures to resolve this limitation. For instance, elementary education, High School Education Program. For all these measures made basic education developed, but till today it can't satisfy by college. Many middle schools couldn't finish education plant after student graduated. Imbalance between secondary education and higher education had limited development of admission system. Promoting the basic education is a important part of development trend of American college admission system.V. Conclusion.American college admission system is not only limited by politics, economy and culture, but also limited by system itself. Firstly, American college admission system has complicated connection with management system of government and social culture. The targets of enrolment system are equal. There are so many limitations in enrolment system, and educational circles want to resolve all these limitations and develop itself all the time. Secondly, the peculiarity of American college admission system is self enrolment. It is equal between colleges and students. But in system itself, it is unequal between students and students. White students still hold dominant position. The situation of black students and other minorities still take a dim view.American college admission system need not only long time but also huge amount of manpower, material resources and fund. There is a great gap of new student enrolments rate between colleges. Moreover, private universities tend to enroll many alumnus-children and sports specialty students. These kind of students have taken so many quotas that lot of races students can’t be enrolled. Acceptance rate of Asian-American, Black and Hispanic is still lower than that of the white men. Harvard University announced to stop Early Action in 2006, objectively, increases the enrollment rate for disadvantaged groups. It will receive a test by the time.Bibliography Hernandez, Michele A. A Is For Admission. New York: Warner Books, 1997. John S. Brubacher. Higher Education in Transition. 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