Colleges apparently getting people’s hopes up in order to dash them:

The 18-year-old high school senior in Thornwood, New York, said she spent about $780 on 12 applications after mailings from top schools like Duke, which sent a wall poster. She was rejected by Duke, Columbia and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and plans to attend the University of Maryland.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, someone is interested in me,’” Ederer said in an interview. “They attract you with an e-mail and a few pamphlets and big envelopes filled with a ton of information and make you want to go to that school, and they don’t accept you.”

The rationale of this behavior being pretty simple: it looks better when you reject a higher percentage of your applicants. There’s actually a sign posted at Redstone High School wherein a few dozen colleges have a “common application process.” Apply to one, apply to all! That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but they basically make it easier to apply to as many as you want to. In part, I suspect, so that these schools can come across as being more selective than they otherwise are.

My alma mater, Southern Tech University, is trying to join the University of Delosa as a state flagship university. The goalposts that the state has set up for Sotech make it pay for the university to become more selective. More admissions typically correlates with lower medians, higher drop-out rates, and higher acceptance rates. All of which allow DU to turn their nose up at us and say “you have more in common with Delosa Polytechnic than you do with us.”

As a proud Pack alum, I wish my university well in its goal. The better it does, the better my degree looks… but a lot of it is tribal pride. Most alums seem to feel the same way. Of course, it becomes paradoxical after a point. A lot of people that got in under previous, more lenient admissions, would be less likely to get in under more recent standards. They’re wanting the university to attract better students than they, often, were. Whether I would get in to Southern Tech or not simply wasn’t a question. And indeed, I would likely get in under the newer proposed admission policies, as well. Though as they attract a better class of student, I would be less likely to get into the Honors College, which was one of the real boons to my time at the U. Beyond that, the fact that the university was less selective made it more attractive to me to begin with. I had deferred acceptance into DU, but I was intimidated by the prospect of going to a school that I “barely got into*.”

* – I didn’t fully appreciate how good my high school was and how much of a “leg up” I would have on a lot of my college classmates.

Category: School

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2 Responses to Collegiate Selectivity

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    The sooner that people realize that college is a racket, the better off we will be.

  2. trumwill says:

    As long as the rich go to college, the middle class will want to go to college. As long as the middle class wants to go to college, many in the working class will want to go to college. As long as part of the working class, the middle class, and the rich want to go to college, those that don’t want to go to college will be treated as though there is something wrong with them, and those that can’t go will be considered the subjects of travesty.

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