Sunday, January 18, 2009

Low-Down, Dirt-Poor, Hands-to-Heaven College Application Parental Blues

This is a comment I posted to an article on The Huffington Post:

Peter (and others -- parents and prospective students -- like him): Let me give you a little advice from someone who knows about admissions issues from a professional perspective (but does not work in admissions). You said:

"Ironically, I knew (although no one else possibly could) that Daniel would be more at risk at the less competitive colleges than at the most competitive colleges because he would inevitably float in the middle - contributing in many small and significant ways to the well-being of the school, but only challenging himself to achieve in the classroom in ways that made sense to him."

This is a mistaken assumption on your part. You equate a school's "competitiveness" with whether Daniel would be challenged there academically. The truth is that even the brightest student may find himself more challenged at a less competitive school. The trick is to find the best match between Daniel's interests and the school's offerings. Daniel may actually find himself more engaged, and therefore apply himself more, in a school that I'm guessing was outside of your radar screen. The assumption that academic challenge is inversely correlated with a school's admittance rate is a mistaken one.

You may also want to check out The Education Conservancy ( It has lots of materials about helping students find the best college match for them.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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