I'm talking about Early Decision (ED) -- either a beautiful thing or a concept that has gone horribly wrong, depending on who's talking. As a refresher, if a student is accepted early decision, usually in December, it is a binding decision. Many experts think it is a good approach IF the college is the first, second and third choice and has programs that mesh completely with the student's interests.
Here's The Choice's take, The New York Times admissions blog by Jacques Steinberg. He is trying to give voice to all sides, including the college perspective.
If you read the comments following the Steinberg post, you will taste elation, relief, depression, perseverance. But one particular post touched me -- from a parent of a happy daughter who nonetheless worries that the college admissions process is sapping life and joy from kids.
"Our family is thrilled for her. She has worked so hard at so many things, and she deserves whatever validation she can get. At the same time, as a college admission consultant and a parent, I believe that the admission environment our kids are subjected to is deeply unhealthy. We are sliding further away from what should be our focus–our children’s love of learning–to a fixation on winning some prize.
Our kids are far too stressed, too unhappy, too pressured to be able to do anything for the simple pleasure of just doing it.
"I share my daughter’s joy, but lament the fact that it’s been mostly absent these past four years."