Colleges stop special admissions for celebrities

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Colleges stop special admissions for celebrities

Several universities set precedents and will no longer grant special admission to celebrities in the coming academic years.

For the admissions process of the 2013 academic year, Konkuk University will no longer grant special admission for celebrities. A representative from Konkuk stated yesterday, “Starting from 2013, celebrities will be selected with the same standards as regular students.”

In the past decade, there has been an influx of celebrities who were accepted through special standards even though there already is an early admission program. Special admission criteria varies for each school. However, every year during admissions season, there is a public outcry regarding the legitimacy and fairness of granting special seats for individuals based on the fact that they are celebrities.

Konkuk University, after establishing the College of Art and Design in 2004, began its special admission program for celebrities, admitting actresses like Kim Jung-eun and Park Han-byul as well as singer Minho from boy band SHINee. The selection process for special admission at Konkuk is based 50 percent on “experience” and 50 percent on the interview.

In other words, these celebrities had a free pass for admission merely with an interview. However, that will change. Celebrities who apply to the school will take a test and do the interview.

Based on special admission criteria for this year, Chung-Ang University’s performing arts department, to which Luna of popular female group f(x) was accepted this year as a theater major, weighs experience and achievements for 80 percent and the interview for 20 percent. Sungshin Women’s University, which accepted singer Goo Hara of Hallyu group Kara last year, bases 80 percent on the results of their school-administered test and 20 percent on the interview for special admission of those who excel in talent or sports. Meanwhile, Kyunghee University, for special admission into its theater and film department, bases 20 percent on school transcripts and 80 percent on achievements.

Meanwhile, Dongguk University did not accept any special admission for actors for the incoming class. Girls’ Generation’s Yoona in 2009 and Seohyun in 2010 and 4Minute’s Hyuna in 2011 were accepted into the department of film and digital media through this admissions process for “acting talent.” A representative from Dongguk stated that the move was made to remove the special admission to the theater and film department because of “celebrities often taking terms off and the repeated criticism regarding their selection.”

Students encountering the application process especially feel cheated by the special application system, which they find subjective and unfair. Park Sun-hee, 18, who took the CSAT this year said, “It’s probably difficult for a busy idol to attend school,” and further states her doubt whether “the college name is so important to an already successful idol.” A student posting anonymously online wrote, “So, some people can just shoot a music video and take an interview and get an OK?”

After admission, there are celebrities who cannot keep up with school and end up getting expelled. A representative from a private university said, “It’s a problem for a pro singer from a big entertainment company to use their status to gain academic leverage.”

But another university representative stated, “I think there is no problem with selecting a person who has shown effort and recognition in their industry.”


By Song Ji-hye [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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