College admissions controversies to keep in mind
It appears that nothing has changed to keep college admission into the top schools regardless of students’ financial, socio-economic status, cultural, or racial makeup. Allegations that college admissions officers falsified applications to allow children of rich parents to attend the top schools is the latest revelation to surface following a series of high-profile cheating scandals in the past two years.
These scams have already rocked college admissions; the most high-profile happening was when standardized test cheat cards were discovered in the pockets of students from various schools, the result of social media posts that even included accurate answers to questions that were impossible to answer.
These cheating scandals can threaten any type of admission into any school, whether it’s public or private, private or parochial, Ivy League or not. Although these scandals have been troubling enough, these scammers seem to believe that college admission is somehow even more important now.
The prosecution of current admissions officers does not seem to be anything new either. Last year, an admissions officer from private Christian school Lighthouse Christian Academy was indicted on multiple felony charges of bribery and taking a bribe on behalf of the son of a Los Angeles pastor.
In the last case of this kind, a South African daughter of a soccer coach, conspired with former Yale University staff member Sam DeJean to get her daughter into Yale. In exchange, DeJean served as a consultant to the soccer coach, who paid an application fee.
On average, a school’s socioeconomic makeup affects students who get into the school. BECAUSE this information does not have to be wrong. But still, judging on looks alone is not how you get into college.
According to CNN Money, approximately half of the people who went to top 100 universities from 2013-2016 either had a significant amount of low-income background or no background at all. For many, the top colleges were already such a good fit that they were completely unprepared to have to fight for admission at a top school.
Students with a severe amount of financial hardship were easier to find thanks to their resources, while those in middle or upper class positions had the most luck of getting into the college they wanted.
Not surprisingly, colleges and universities should avoid making admissions decisions based on applicants’ socioeconomic status.
After all, students whose socioeconomic status is known cannot be expected to develop their full potential regardless of the amount of funding given to them. What this means is that even though college applications are often totally biased in favor of applicants with a certain type of background, the future success of the student and the school are still a mystery at best.
Many students still apply in situations where there are major flaws in the information reported.
One of these high school students is a girl from an upscale neighborhood in Washington, D.C. She told the School Bell community in a piece titled “College Admission Scandal: The Instagram Scandal”:
“I applied to the University of Maryland, College Park in December 2017 and was immediately contacted by another student at Maryland and told I had an even higher probability of getting into the school. This student then encouraged me to share my information on Instagram and encouraged me to even submit my application directly to them. I did and received an acceptance letter in February 2018. My story isn’t unique.”
She added, “I’m in a higher income bracket than other students applying to the same universities. I don’t take out loans to get college, but there is always that worry about what will happen when I graduate.”
Parents, grandparents, friends, and family, avoid mediating the college decision-making process for your children by helping them make the right academic and social fit for their need and age.
Relying on them to research all things “college”, even if it may not be the best fit for your child, or telling them about colleges based on their social media accounts can only lead to disappointment and disappointment that will not only push them away from the colleges they really wanted, but also can lead to endless stress and anxieties about their future.
Let them find it themselves.