The Lawrence admissions office has just announced its plans to eliminate applications from the application process. Following the recent removal of the standardized test requirements for applicants, Lawrence’s Dean of Admissions Steve Syverson, with the enthusiastic support of President Jill Beck, hopes to do away with the traditional college application, which he claims “provides very little insight into a student’s actual potential and, frankly, is almost as tiresome for us to read as it is to fill out.” The admissions staff hopes to redirect its focus from the outdated process of assessing a student’s class rank, GPA, academic achievements, awards, recognitions, and/or extracurricular activities to a more liberal approach much more in-line with Lawrence’s new ideal of individualized education. Admissions staff members plan to dig beneath the surface and find the true essence of every Lawrence applicant by means of interviews, dinner dates, and even personal visits to applicants’ homes by an admissions counselor. “The hope here is to bridge the gap between the student and the school,” said Beck, “using personal interaction that will give us a more accurate and sincere picture of each prospective Lawrence student.” This radical step will make Lawrence the first university in the United States to go application-optional, a move that Syverson hopes will be followed by other schools across the country. Ripon president David C Joyce said “I’m curious to see if it will increase the number of applicants to the school, in which case I’m sure we would be willing to consider such a change here at Ripon.” The announcement has attracted a great deal of media coverage, landing Syverson slots on “Good Morning America,” “Hardball with Chris Mathews,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” ABC’s “The View,” and MTV’s “Total Request Live.” Syverson’s newly hired publicist has been busy juggling TV appearances with radio interviews as well as constant phone calls from reporters for ********The New York Times******, the *******Chicago Tribune********, and ********Rolling Stone********. The dean of admissions was unavailable for comment on this story, as he is away on a book-signing tour, and scheduled to return in mid-April.