Monday, February 28, 2011

Is the College Admissions Process Morally Ambiguous?

There was a headline in our local paper today about the "moral ambiguity" of characters in a particular TV series. My daughter said she disliked that phrase, thought it seemed over-used to the point that it didn't mean anything. And that was after she'd spent hours working on a history essay about Jefferson, so she clearly grasps the meaning of the phrase.

And maybe I am just in a mood, brought on by a rainy Monday. But it made me wonder: isn't the college admissions process at times morally ambiguous? We tell our kids to work hard, participate in meaningful activities, write thoughtful essays, do well on the standardized tests, and all should work out. But are we really telling the truth? The Huffington Post looked at some 2011 admissions rates and found that based on the highest ever number of applicants, the year is shaping up as a year with some of the lowest acceptance rates ever. Our kids have a dream, do what they are supposed to do, and many won't get into the colleges of their choice.

Maybe it's all the way of the world. For a laugh, look at actions taken by some students (and their parents), have done to get into their college of choice. Bribes, declaring an ethnicity that isn't, etc. There are some good tips, here, too.

Now, I understand that teens need to learn about the real world; that they are usually happy wherever they wind up; and that colleges need to keep up their standards so that appear as selective as possible. Oh well, maybe I am confusing moral ambiguity and life.

But here's an antidote to all of my kvetching. Just read about these kids, chosen as Times Scholars by The New York Times.

1 comment:

  1. As another CHS mom of a sophomore, I am enjoying this blog. Did you see this article on admissions to Bowdoin? Kind of gave me hope for the process. I work with Yale admissions and that has been, frankly, a lot less hopeful.