Thursday, April 15, 2010

A final kid question


On another kid topic...

In this era of universal dosages of high self esteem in children, is any graduating high school senior simply told, "No you may not attend college here"?

We have a nephew, who since birth has been continually reassured the sun rises every morning simply to brighten his path. He is one of the enlightened, all things are within his reach.

So the kid bought into the story, why not, I would. Now, he is a senior in a local suburban high school. His GPA is near 5 on a 4 point scale, but he has never been pushed. He's a bright kid in a pretty average place. In a world market of candidates, just another pretty face.

His college applications went to the schools suited to his expansive hat size, with a fall back, some French sounding place in Indiana where an uncle is on the acceptance committee.

To date, only two schools,his uncle's and someplace in New Haven, Connecticut have flat out said NO.

Now we could argue all day that he made some poor choices in the schools he sent apps to, (you taking the con position) but it doesn't change the facts.

There seems to be a new twist, added since my bonus kids were going through this process. He has received a number of "you are on our wait list" notifications. Or as we say, don't call us, we'll call you. Is this the new no?

Toad

17 comments:

Shelley said...

Bill often complains about how dumbed down schools are over here these days, a political ploy to make everyone feel they can have a university education and a bright future. My secretary had a bachelor's degree in 'American studies' from a nowhere university. She couldn't even explain to me what 'American studies' meant, so that tells something about how valuable it was. She was clearly too good for that job (in her mind); however, she is still there.

Can universities be sued these days for turning down an applicant? If so, then a waiting list would be a great ploy.

No idea about education these days; grateful that I don't need to figure it out.

nanc said...

We have lots of friends with seniors right now and in my opinion the high school college counselors are resposible for telling so many of these students to apply to colleges they have little chance of getting accepted at. So many of the parents I know have all but pushed their child out of the process and are dealing with the counselors on their own. We have gotten some fairly negative reactions when telling people our son is going to our state's engineering school. Of course those reactions are changing now that some of these wait list letters are arriving.

Mrs. Blandings said...

You may know this, but this year and the last few years there has been a baby boomlet going to college. I actually have friends with incredibly bright, engaged kids who are being told, "You could have gone Ivy League five years ago, and you could a could of years from now, but what should be your "B" schools are your "A" schools. It's a numbers game. Malcolm Gladwell wrote an engaging essay about college acceptance in his book Outliers.

Tucker said...

Wait lists were common when I went through the application process over thirty years ago.

Colleges want (need) a full incoming class. Admissions officers make an estimate of the accepted applicants who will enroll. If their estimate (based on past percentages) is short, then they will send out wait list letters to a certain number of applicants in order to fill out the class. Applicants usually have to either accept or decline a position on the waitlist. Being in limbo is never a good position, but if you can find out past wait list acceptance rates for a particular school it makes the choice easier.

I'm just glad I never had to make that choice.

Suburban Princess said...

The problem is, a uni degree wont actually get them a job - so in a way it could be a blessing! Tradespeople make more money anyway :O)

LPC said...

It's miserable. It is the numbers, but also the hype. Brand name universities are like the new Rolls Royce. I feel for your nephew, and wish him good luck. Did he actually get accepted anywhere? I sure hope so.

Kathy said...

Many, many schools are taking most of their incoming freshmen from the Early Decision pile, putting the standard admission applicants at a distinct disadvantage. That, and there are so many bright up-and-comers here in Northern Virginia, getting into even a decent state school has become a challenge.

Toad said...

A long time gripe of mine,takes aim at the GI bill. I AM STRONGLY in favor of it, but I believe universities sold their soul to get the money.

They went from educating to selling credit hours, a plethora of fake schools opened in its wake.

Toad said...

Can a kid call a wait list's bluff, and tell the school, I'll wait, take me next year?

I remember a NYT mag story on that a while back, but I have no recollection of how the story went.

JMW said...

One of my co-worker's sons is going through this. His top choice, Notre Dame, said no. He was disappointed, but was accepted to some stellar back-ups. Now, it's a matter of how much financial aid is available. He's a hard worker and a good kid, so I felt bad that he didn't get into ND, but perhaps it wasn't meant to be.

Sam said...

NY Times has an article about waiting lists.

Toad said...

Sam thank you, I sent the links to the lads mother

DAG said...

Sometimes it better to start out at a "lesser" school and transfer to a "better" school. Many schools accept transfer students before newbies and sometimes there is a financial incentive to do so. I was going to get a pretty good grant to transfer from a good public school to a very good private school - then I met my wife.

Charlotte K said...

And when did kids start applying to 50 colleges and visiting all of them? How do parents afford that?

I applied to 3 and visited one of them, sort of by accident. I wound up moving to NYC for college from rural South Carolina, my first time in NYC.

Kids don't want to take risks any more.

Toad said...

Charlotte it's a mystery. I looked at 1 and went there.

Bumby Scott said...

As a Legacy, I new from birth, that I would be attending one of two universities. I ended up attending both, one to do the core for my certificate (minor)and the the other for the Degrees.
Tell him Good luck, and not to feel to bad when they say no.
Always Bumby

Just Another College Professor said...

Almost everyone now is wait listing students. I wonder if that "French sounding University" would be...whats it called - oh yea Notre Dame! Because that school, even for those gifted students who not only pursue AP level classes, but also receive A's in those classes (the only way to achieve higher than a 4 on a 4.0 gpa scale) only accepts students that test not only as high as your nephew in terms of gpa, but also students having ACT's of 32-34s as well as a plethora of extra curriculars. Thus, I do not believe that your nephews denial from such a prestigious school has anything to do with his head being to big but rather, the enormity of the group of incoming freshman all trying to attend the top tier schools. Even if one has outstanding test scores, a rigorous schedule, and a top notch gpa, they can get denied or wait listed because there are so many others out there now adays trying to get into the same exact places