U.S. News Education

Martha Allman

Martha Allman

Ananda Mitra

Ananda Mitra

How Slang Affects Students in the Classroom: Where some admissions officers have observed a shift in language used in admissions materials, Martha Allman, dean of admissions at Wake Forest University, says she has not “seen the shortcuts that you typically see in social communication.”

“Students are primed in high school to know this is the way they show [their ability] to communicate in college,” Allman says. “My sense is that students certainly see a difference between their social communication and writing for the college essay.”

There is a measure of uncertainty as to whether college admissions officials will adapt to this social change in language, or if future prospective college students will need to be mindful and observant of the words they use. Ananda Mitra, professor and chair of the department of communication at Wake Forest, believes colleges will continue to place the responsibility on students to conform during the admissions process.

“Education is about adaptation to some degree,” Mitra notes. “An intelligent, educated student coming out of high school should be adaptive. Those who do not adapt would [not be admitted].”

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