Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 at 10:07 am in College Apps & Angst.
If you have a high school junior or senior, you know what it’s like — the escalating panic over college admissions, which is so not helped by scary stats on how Harvard accepted just 9 percent of its applicants. The most recent panic-mongering press release from a college admissions counseling agency shrieked that those Harvard rejectees included 1,100 kids who aced the SAT math exam, that this is the largest high school senior class (3.2 million) ever, and that the sky is falling. Okay, we added the last one, but really … we have a problem with panic mongering in general. However, we did find one useful tidbit in this angst-riddled press release — although it’s probably not the point a hire-a-college-counselor-or-you’ll-never-get-in company was trying to make…
Seems that in 2003, the nation’s 223 most competitive colleges — the colleges which accepted 50 percent or fewer of their applicants — received more than 1.4 million applications. (Caveat: Students who apply to highly competitive colleges usually apply to 10 or more … but 140,000 is still a pretty daunting number.) But here’s the thing. There are 4,216 colleges and universities in the U.S. — 399 in California alone — so we’re talking nearly 4,000 perfectly good, 2- and 4-year, non-Harvards, whose applicants may not have aced the SAT or won a Nobel at age 15, but are receiving excellent educations nonetheless.
Instead of talking about Harvard or the US News and World Report’s college rankings — which, by the way, are under attack by universities who think any system that relies on college presidents’ “evaluations” of their own institutions or the rate at which they reject students is suspect — let’s start sharing information on some of those other, wonderful universities. Where did you (or your child) go to school, and what do you think?
– Jackie Burrell