The Admissions Process Doesn’t Have to be Insane

A colleague sent me the link to an article published on the Fox News website about two college counselors quitting their jobs at a prestigious private school in the Washington DC area. Normally, a couple counselors quitting their jobs wouldn’t make national news but the school where they worked and the reason they quit vaulted the story into the national spotlight.

The counselors worked at a private school attended by the children of sitting presidents. The reason they quit is bad behavior by parents attacking them and attempting to sabotage other students in order for their children to gain some sort of advantage in the college admissions process.

When the college admissions scandal came to light in March, I thought that it would serve as a wake-up call to overzealous parents; prompt them to take a step back and give serious thought to the things they said and did when making decisions about college. Boy was I wrong.

In my naive little world, I thought that parents and their kids would actually begin to do a little research about pathways to success and discover that the road is not exclusive to Ivy or even elite colleges. If you don’t believe me, take a look at where the CEO’s of the top 100 American companies went to college. It’s so much more about what they did at their colleges and not where they got their education. I admit that Cornell does make a good showing in this research, but only 14 of those top 100 executives attended Ivy League institutions.

Twenty years ago, the sage advice that a teen would have given parents for their bad behavior would be, “take a chill pill”. If someone can’t figure out how to get these wealthy parents to improve their behavior when it comes to college admissions, the system and/or government will have to respond. The pendulum will swing widely in the other direction and the system that now allows for limitless possibilities may become one of quotas and government oversight. None of us wants that.

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