Yale for Sale?

I’m out of town this week for spring break, but wanted to write about the college admissions scandal that was announced yesterday.

It is a very sad affair, but I am not surprised.

When both major and niche sports comprise a clear path into very selective colleges (unlike in Europe), there is room for abuse. When being on a coach’s list is the equivalent of a +200 point swing on the SAT, that is huge (study here).

When colleges do everything they can to maximize applications to report minuscule admission rates, they don’t have the time to do due diligence.

And, when the cost of college grows at 2x to 3x the inflation rate for decades, it tilts the advantage to those who have money.

Honestly, last year for some weird reason, I wondered if families were somehow buying access to coaches’ recruiting lists.

And, I think we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of fraud (fictional autobiographical drama in essays to get the attention of overwhelmed readers, fraud from private foreign high schools, etc.).

I’ve written before about college admissions (here, here and here). I continue to believe that my children’s long term happiness is not aligned with the goals of college admissions officers.

And, who loses the most? Our kids. Many of them have two jobs: school and the activities they do outside of the classroom. It is no wonder some arrive at college exhausted. It is no wonder that colleges’ mental health services are overwhelmed.

So, if you are a parent, make sure you do nothing to add even more pressure on your kids. They will be fine, if you love them.

Let college admissions play their game. The rest of us should play ours.

4 thoughts on “Yale for Sale?

  1. Great perspective, Jo. I also see that we parents have taken our parental protection instincts too far today – by trying to ease our children’s paths forward, children don’t get opportunities to build self-confidence, self-esteem, decision-making, independence, and more. At my oldest daughter’s college, they held a parent orientation where the dean of students had to instruct parents not call their student’s professors directly, but to call him instead, because of all the harassing calls by parents to profs. That’s bad.

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