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Helping kids and families shed their Ivy-worship

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Replies to: Helping kids and families shed their Ivy-worship

  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 Registered User Posts: 386 Member
    High schools really need to set a time in late junior / early senior year that allows kids to take a computerized survey about what attributes they are looking for in a college, and then have the computer give them a list of 20 or so matches. You have to spend four years of your life there, you need to look at more than prestige. Incidentally, I have a kid who has no interest in Ivies or small LACs. A Google search of top honors colleges produced a list for her to start her search. Not one of those universities would have otherwise been on her radar, but quite a few meet her list of demands.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 59,756 Senior Member
    Isn't increasing income inequality a driver? I.e. there is an increasing perception that the economy is becoming more of an "elite or peon" economy, and that "fast track to Wall Street or consulting" schools are much more desirable than others, because both parents and kids see more downward than upward mobility otherwise.

    Increasing income inequality also means that the wealthiest can pay more for college and preparation for their kids, fueling the "arms race".
  • lvvcsflvvcsf Registered User Posts: 1,716 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    I think another contributor to the Ivy-worship is grade inflation and the growing number of people scoring higher on standardized tests. In 1997, 956,000 students took the ACT with 74 achieving a perfect 36. In 2014, 1,845,787 took the ACT with 1407 receiving a perfect 36 (I contribute this to far more test preparation and the number of people taking the test multiple times). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACT_(test) If that is extrapolated over the top 10% then far more students today are receiving high scores on the ACT and I would venture the SAT would be the same.

    Students with these score have different expectations than students with more average scores. Assuming that the scores for the top 10% of scores remains the same there would have been about 90,000 students in the top 10% in 1997, today that will be at least 185,000. This means much more competition for the fixed number of top schools. Students attitudes toward their achievements haven't changed as fast as the reality. Universities by necessity have to find ways to discriminate the far greater number of applicants who are high academic achievers. I think this partially explains the parents and students on CC who question what they did wrong.

    On the flip side their are far more of those who take the ACT (and SAT) who are not academically ready for college. The average ACT scores have changed little. Just like there are far more students who do well there are also far more students who do poorly.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,243 Senior Member
    there is an increasing perception that the economy is becoming more of an "elite or peon" economy, and that "fast track to Wall Street or consulting" schools are much more desirable than others, because both parents and kids see more downward than upward mobility otherwise.

    Fast track to Wall Street or consulting is a narrow window even for the kids who go to the chosen schools. Its a little like the parents who think their kid will play pro sports (or even get an athletic scholarship to college). Some do but most don't. Even the incredibly great kids.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 59,756 Senior Member
    Even outside of the Wall Street and consulting goals, many students and parents (not always correctly) assume that more selective or exclusive colleges greatly improve the chances of going into other desired jobs and careers.

    Also, the long odds of making it into professional sports does not seem to deter parents from spending and doing quite a bit to support their kids' sports interests. The chances are somewhat better for athletic recruiting for college, although that may be less valuable than otherwise assumed, if the intersection between colleges interested in recruiting the student and colleges otherwise suitable (in academic offerings, costs even if there are athletic scholarships, etc.) may have few colleges in it.
  • lalalander111lalalander111 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    edited May 19
    As far as the number of students getting perfect or near perfect scores.... it's primarily the H1B Asian kids here in CA.
    --actually it's everywhere now.
    Just google a list of the names of National Merit Finalists.
    Whether anyone wants to face it or not, the rather recent influx of STEM oriented, ultra-competitive, less than top 1% is not good enough Asian families have changed the game of college admissions (and high school).
    These are the kids who retake the ACT because they "only" got a 33 or 34.

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 27,577 Senior Member
    And I bet they blame the GC sometimes, too, until they "get it". (Sorry if that happens!)
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,243 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus No doubt that people are sending their kids to elites because they believe it increases their chances of going into desired careers/jobs. If you don't think the results will be better (in ways that can go beyond a job/career), why send them, right?

    And I totally agree with respect to sports. I have asked friends who are looking at athletic scholarships for their kids, assuming your kid is able to get an athletic scholarship, what are the changes it will be to a school where you want them to be academically? I can happen but the odds (long in the first place) are against it.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,694 Senior Member
    @saillakeerie: "What are the changes it will be to a school where you want them to be academically".

    Depends on ability. If they are Div1-quality, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, Rice (& Vandy, ND, UVa, UMich, Cal, BC, WFU, etc.) are at that level.

    Meanwhile, the Ivies and many DivIII LACs don't offer scholarships but being a recruited athlete could range from being a big hook to a bump at many academically elite schools at those levels.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,243 Senior Member
    @PurpleTitan So you are saying the chances are good? I didn't say they were non-existent.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,694 Senior Member
    @saillakeerie: Depends on athletic ability.

    For instance, someone who was an average P5 recruit in football (which, granted, is pretty elite; within the top 800 or so in his class in the country) has a decent to good chance of being wanted by Northwestern, Duke, Vandy, UVa, Cal, BC & WFU. Possibly by Stanford. Rice and all the Ivies (if his academic scores were high enough for them to slot him in to a band; and they'd probably be willing to use their lowest band--which they have only 2 spots in each year--for him) would be begging him to come.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,243 Senior Member
    Based on how their teams perform on the football field (other than Stanford), I am willing to bet there aren't a lot of those P5 recruits with the academic skills to gain admittance to the schools you list. Majority of those P5 kids are able to gain admission to better academic skills than their academic background would otherwise indicate. But as you note, you are talking about a very elite level of athletic skills.

    My point is the number of kids playing sports in high school (and even excel at them) is huge compared to the number of kids getting athletic scholarships (and the number of kids getting full rides or full tuition on athletic scholarships is even smaller). Then you add another level of odds in terms of lining up where your athletic skills get you a scholarship with where you want to be academically. As noted, at the elite level you may well improve your academic game. But a lot of kids will be facing the choice of an athletic scholarship at an institution which is below where their academic record would indicate they should go or foregoing the athletic scholarship to attend their academic match.

    Are their kids who are able to upgrade the academics or at least match them? Sure. I just think the number is small. And no doubt it depends on athletic ability (as well as academic abilities).
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,694 Senior Member
    @saillakeerie: Other than Stanford and Northwestern, the academic standards for football players at those FBS schools are low. NCAA minimum or slightly above that, which is not high. At all. 2.5 GPA if you take enough classes in some subjects would be enough.


    And as as I mentioned, for someone who doesn't have the athletic ability for FBS but does have the academic chops, the Ivies would be there. If you don't have that (but do have academic chops), DivIII schools would be there.

    Honestly, it comes down to athletic ability, as I mentioned. You have the athletic ability, you can choose where you want to go. So no, there aren't that many kids facing the dilemma you imagined.
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