Words of wisdom and humor for high school seniors and their parents as they eagerly await college admission decisions:
College admission decisions for early admission plans are generally conveyed to high school students between mid-December and early February. Decisions for regular decision plan applications are generally rendered later and before April 1.
Despite the fact that admission decisions are not the measure of a young man’s or woman’s worth, academic potential or capacity as citizens, we often imbue this process with the power to define his or her success. Decisions received are seen as conveying and denying opportunity.
The reality is that there is no one right school for any student. Furthermore, there are wonderful opportunities for students at a large number of schools. Of course, what university the student attends matters. But an education is not conferred by virtue of place. Rather it is earned by the student through hard work, engagement, effort, and a willingness to grow, be challenged, take risks, and become engaged in the academic and extracurricular life of the community. What a student does in college and his or her interactions with faculty matter a lot. All of that, rather than the admission decision alone, will ultimately define his or her success.
As an educational consultant supporting students and their parents with the college search and application process, I use levity to inform. Thinking of how colleges market themselves caused me to construct a “personals ad” for a typical high school senior applying to college. If you see yourself or your own son or daughter in that profile, know that you are not alone!
Healthy kid. High school senior. Undecided about major and academic focus, but inclined toward the sciences. Has heard about your preference for students earning A’s in a rigorous curriculum; instead earned B’s. Enjoys playing cello, running, spending time with friends, not feeling too much pressure. Seeking same in liberal arts college for four years of learning, laughter and a sense of future direction.
Published in the Education Section of The Scarsdale Inquirer on January 18, 2013, and as “Advice on Awaiting College Decisions” in the February 14, 2013, issue of The Globe, the student newspaper of Mamaroneck High School.