In the coming days there will be considerable focus in the media and college counseling community on the super-duper selective colleges and universities of this county. You know, the 1%. The places that have selectivity rates in the teens and endowments in the multi-millions or billions will get lots of attention.
We will see list of selectivity rates. We will hear about outrageously long wait lists. We will hear anecdotes about someone who should have received an offer of admissions for a particular college. And, all of this will result in the following:
- There will be lots of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth about the level of selectivity.
- There will bloviating about loss of access and choice.
- There will be wailing and lamenting abound.
- Listservs will explode.
- Bloggers will lambaste.
- Reporters will focus on the national, rather than the local.
It will be the silly season, as it always is when the super selective colleges announce their decisions (and everyone else gets wind). The great wait will be over.
Too many, in my view.
College admissions should not simply be about getting in. But, the coming days will define the profession I love in exactly those terms. It will be all about who did and who did not get into the super selective colleges and universities.
I seem to recall a huge movement across the country the wanted everyone to focus on the 99%. Most of us in college admissions and most of the students who will be attending college this fall are the 99%.
How about paying a little bit of attention to the 99% this year?
- Wouldn’t it be great if there were silence about outrageously low selectivity rates?
- Wouldn’t it be great if the listservs were silent?
- Wouldn’t it be great if the bloggers focused on the average number offers of admission from which a student can choose this year?
- Wouldn’t it be great if reporters did what good reporters are supposed to do and localize the story and report on how local colleges are doing with enrolling next year’s class?
- Wouldn’t it be great if we were all reminded that college admissions is not about the 1% that we will hear about in the coming week?
I am the 99%. I work at a great place that is a part of the 99%. And, I serve amazing students who are also part of the 99%.
Please do your part to celebrate the 99% in the coming days.
W. Kent Barnds @bowtieadmission