How Many is Too Many for a College List?

No doubt you have heard of Michael Brown and the Fox News reporters who labeled him “obnoxious”. I celebrate the hard work he has done over the past several years and even before then, realizing how much an education can change your life for the better. Knowing how time-consuming completing one application to and Ivy or elite-level school can be, I don’t know where he found the time or the money to invest in that many applications. Like I said, his work ethic deserves celebration.

I can’t help but wonder how I would have handled Michael if he had come to me for college advice. Obviously, he has the grades, scores and has the background to qualify as a top candidate for any college in the country. Where I may have rained on his parade is his motivation to apply to 20 colleges. The most a student has applied to that works with me has been 12. She is presently waiting on number 12 to make a decision. The other eleven accepted her. The Naval Academy is that last school. The young lady in question applied to four more colleges than I lobbied for. She was told that all the schools after number eight would be on her own. Of course, that wasn’t the case. Guess my bluff is not as good as I thought.

Just like any other trait we humans have, students are driven to excel at different things. When a brilliant student is motivated to see how high they can fly into the college applications atmosphere, the best thing to do is get out of their way. I have to admit that after hearing the story of Michael Brown as a soundbite on the radio, I thought – what a waste of time and effort. But, after a little more research I imagined how I would feel if someone criticized my greatest accomplishment to date… the view from that position was very different that the one where I sat in judgement.

I am very happy for young Mr. Brown (likely to become Dr. Brown before it is all said and done). He could make me even happier if I see over the course of the next few months that he is using his super power for good and helping students who are not so savvy complete impressive college applications.

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