An article the day before yesterday at Boston.com provides yet another look into the college admissions process. What it reports is enough to make you completely jaded about the whole admissions game. Here’s a piece of the introduction.
Surf the websites of such institutions and you will find press releases boasting that they have increased their black and Hispanic enrollments, admitted bumper crops of National Merit scholars or became the destination of choice for hordes of high school valedictorians. Many are bragging about the large share of applicants they rejected, as a way of conveying to the world just how popular and selective they are.
What they almost never say is that many of the applicants who were rejected were far more qualified than those accepted. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, it was not the black and Hispanic beneficiaries of affirmative action, but the rich white kids with cash and connections who elbowed most of the worthier applicants aside.
Researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards.
The fact is, college admissions is not–and has never really been–the merit-based system we might believe. Colleges are businesses, and they do what they need to do to make payroll and keep their doors open.
My job is to help kids and their families navigate what is not a rational process. It’s very confusing, and information is skewed in favor of the providers of educational services, not the consumers. No matter whether you’re dim or bright, black or white, kids needs more and better information. That’s what I provide.
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