In his weekly online column, Post education reporter Jay Mathews spotlights the recommendations for simplifying the college admissions process of a former Director of Admissions at two large universities. Some of his suggestions make sense – place a larger emphasis on the student’s work in high school, reduce the influence of the SAT/ACT scores, drop the essay.

Others I disagree with. For one, students with advanced skills should be able to earn credit for college-level work done in high school. It’s not a matter of getting through college faster; it’s a matter of talented students getting the foundation courses out of the way and being able to study at a higher level. For another, merit scholarships should be kept, as long as they reward real merit.

In the end, however, my cynical little mind believes that the colleges, especially the big brand names, actually like the confusion that surrounds their admissions process. That maze gives them more control.