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Other “Good Fit” Options for Disappointed Stanford Applicant

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Replies to: Other “Good Fit” Options for Disappointed Stanford Applicant

  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,877 Senior Member
    I read it and I agree that the student sounds entitled and whiney. However, not unique in this way, so worthy of a column on CC where I'm sure there are a lot of students in the same boat.
  • justpassingthrujustpassingthru Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    No, he/she is trying to figure out based on evidence what happened. That doesn't sound like entitlement as much as confusion. If people who look less deserving are awarded wondering why isn't entitlement. Assuming that you are automatically more deserving is entitlement. . .
  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,877 Senior Member
    @justpassingthru - Sort of, but this person seems to be the type of kid (connected, aware, privileged) who should have enough understanding of holistic admissions to know that you don't even ask the question that way.

    The Stanford admissions committee has their own method and their own access to data, such that any given student would never be able to determine "evidence" for why s/he did or did not get admitted. Anyone who is playing the HYPSM admissions game should understand that there are so few admits that sometimes sheer luck is involved, and that stats alone are only the first gate to cross. If you understand these things, then you would never even ask the question, "So-and-so got a lower SAT score how did they get in".

    My own DS16 was very lucky and got into HYPM (did not apply to S). We're never going to know why he got in.

    I also have an aversion to the kind of coddling of adolescents that happens when they play the "poor me" game about competitive college admission, around overindulgent adults. That's not the way to raise independent young people. Kids need to know from an early age that they are quite wonderful to their families, but that there are a lot of quite wonderful people and they may or may not be recognized by the rest of the world and need an inner compass for strength.

    The advice is the same for everyone in the college game: Fall in love with a college once you know it loves you back.
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 2,391 Senior Member
    A poster on the "Diet/Exercise" thread posted a link to an article that states we're getting physically weaker as a society. So, the coddling is making our kids both mentally and physically weaker. :))
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,752 Senior Member
    Very recently there was a live streaming of a performing art event that my S was involved in at his college. While the performing part was excellent, the technical part of putting together a simple video for public consumption was so bad that, when the group asked for the viewers' opinion about the event, I volunteered to offer "helpful tips" on how to set up the video for more effective public presentations in the future. After all, I'm a very experienced semi-professional photographer and a seasoned videographer, so why not help?

    Then, shortly after, I got a long text message from my son informing me that the person who put together the video was basically "devastated" by my "helpful tips." This unexpected news so surprised me that it really disturbed me for a long time. I even thought to myself the possibility of some dark consequences on the part of the person in question, and I realized that my action of offering what I thought of as "helpful" could actually be harmful to the receiver. Of course, I was resolved that I'd never offer such feedback whether solicited or unsolicited. Privately, I told my S that "if you guys are putting up an advertised and promoted public event for wide public viewership, you have to realize that you're no longer performing for your doting grandparents."

    This incident made me realize how vulnerable our young generation can be, particularly those who grew up "perfect" in every way since birth, from perfect GPA and SAT scores, perfect behavior, perfect execution of instrumental performances (or at least in the eyes of those admiring family members and friends), perfect college admission, to perfect praises from everyone around.
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 4,994 Senior Member
    "Never ceases to amaze me that with so much info having been disseminated for years regarding the holistic admission practices at highly selective schools like Stanford and its peers that there are still so many applicants expecting and making assumptions about their chances at such schools based primarily on their stats and ECs."

    Increasingly I think the problem resides in the information that is usually not available rather than students misinterpreting or ignoring available material. It would be very helpful if most schools, and especially those that accept a small portion of their applicants, would post the stats of those who were rejected. By that I mean, just as now most post % of accepted students who scored at various ACT/SAT intervals, they should to the same in terms of the % of applicants at each interval and % accepted for each interval. As the data appears now, it is very easy to look at the data about GPA and scores, determine that you fall near the top or even above the 75% and figure Ok, I've got a good shot. But then when you look at the % rejected at each of those intervals it is mind boggling-something that would remind the applicant that it isn't usually all or even mostly about scores and grades. Some schools, like I think Yale and MIT provide that data. But I can rarely find similar data from other schools. Broader availability of that data would go a long way towards preventing students with strong grades and scores from thinking that makes them a shoe in. It might also keep parents from obsessing about the grades and scores. I recall the %chance of admission difference between those admitted with the highest scores and those admitted from the next category was about 2%, with those in the 2nd category having only a 2% lower chance.
  • fretfulmotherfretfulmother Registered User Posts: 1,877 Senior Member
    @lostaccount - I've seen the data you describe on MIT's pages as you mention. I don't think it will cure what I call the "prince effect" - i.e. when you read a fairy tale, you don't identify with the hordes of serfs in the story, but see yourself as the main character prince.

    Some of these kids have spent 18 years being raised as the "prince" - and no amount of statistics will, at this point, get them to see themselves as serfs.

    But anyone with the slightest quantitative ability can see that for a college with single-digit admission rates, EVERYONE is a potential serf.

    The fault lies with parents (and perhaps school personnel under pressure not to cause distress), who have not taught on the one hand how unlikely this admission is, and on the other hand, how it's not the way we should calculate personal value.
  • SCMHAALUMSCMHAALUM Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
    Last year when my son told me he got accepted at Stanford I broke down crying and telling him he was so lucky someone at admissions saw him. Too many students fit and you have to be lucky to be seen.
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