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People applying to too many schools regardless of costs.

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Replies to: People applying to too many schools regardless of costs.

  • Kirei na Neko KuKirei na Neko Ku Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    But someone who got admitted to 20 colleges obviously deserves to choose them. Anf if someone is so "desperate" about going to a top college, they can always wait it out. Sure, it's a waste of money, but if you're desperate.
  • RachmaninoffRachmaninoff Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    But that person with 20 acceptances may not have been better than the many other who were rejected in his place. There's too much dependency on luck this year. Im just saying somethign has to be done in order to institute fairness, although it's most likely never goign to happen.
  • leonsdaughterleonsdaughter Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Yes, I agree that the process is increasingly a crapshoot, but why is that? It's in great part BECAUSE the no of apps has so dramatically increased. Many kids feel demoralized about their chances at the starting gate and feel they need to apply to lots of schools just to compete or up their odds. I also believe that there isn't enough good advice out there; college advisors in public schools have way too many kids to help adequately, and kids need to research the schools better, even tho I know how little extra time you all have. I noticed many kids who listed their apps on CC applied to an unbalanced number of reach schools and not enough match schools. Then they applied to very easy safeties which they didn't even like. The result is that the colleges are swamped and less able to carefully evaluate the apps for good fit. Too many kids (at least I see a disproportionate no. of them on CC) seem to focus on whether school A is "better" than school B, as if there is a completely arbitrary standard. Even more telling (and more frightening to me as a parent) is that so many posters to this site are focussed only on name recognition, grad school and how much money they will make 20 years from now. Yikes. If you look at what school is a better fit or where you might be happy the picture changes, and you will end up applying to schools that recognize your potential and for which you are a good match, upping the chances for acceptance. Ultimately this is the way to get grades and scores to count LESS.

    The colleges can't really fix this--it needs to be addressed at the high school level. A first step is for high schools to limit the number of recs they are willing to send out. I know big universities don't want recs anyway, but this will cut down on the total number of apps to all schools. Other than this I don't know. As a parent I can't help feeling some guilt over my own contribution to the stress level. The college admissions process has virtually destroyed the high school experience for many kids. Maybe we should figure out how to stop the college experience from being the same. If you read the recent NYT article about CC and other sites like it, or if you have seen some of the suicidal threads, you can't help but wonder what we need to do differently.
  • psyche13psyche13 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    The British system makes more sense. =) Plus, argue with a 15 pound application fee for 6 courses/universities? You must be kidding. ;) (It's slightly more expensive if you wanna apply for Oxbridge, though)

    My school recommends 6 US universities, and limits (I think) at 8 total, with a maximum of 3 Ivies... That being said, plenty of people in my school apply outside of the US too.
  • eruannetheruanneth Registered User Posts: 281 Junior Member
    i'd also have to say the british system sounds good--except maybe w/ a higher limit...say, 8 colleges.

    people w/ 10, 15, 20 or even 30 apps are just making life harder for themselves and others. i have been thinking about this since i first came on cc. it's shocking--when will the madness end?

    also, allowing unlimited applications gives yet another advantage to kids who are well-off. if someone can afford to spend $700 on application fees, that gives him an advantage over somebody whose family is strained by 150 dollars' worth. the wealthier kid has higher odds of getting into a top college, b/c he applied to more (assuming his stats are similar to the poor kid's.)

    leonsdaughter, i totally agree that the college admission process is a terrible experience. it adds so much stress to people's lives--i even considered waiting a year to apply (after graduation) and doing some kind of volunteer/work/activity b/c i wanted to be able to concentrate on my senior year. obviously, i decided not to--but it has been a stressful hell for me, and i know many people have had it much worse. the blame goes first to the colleges, then to the parents, then to the hyperactive kids who apply, apply, apply. (not that i can really blame them, though.)
  • CautiousPessimismCautiousPessimism Registered User Posts: 709 Member
    You know, before myself going through the college admissions process, I'd have agreed with everyone saying that you shouldn't be applying to 15 or more schools, which is what my parents insisted I do.

    Now I'm not too certain. In my case, I got into Princeton early. I had, however, sent in all my other apps a good bit before then, and so I wasted quite a bit of money. But hey, at least I got in, and the joy of that by far overshadowed any regret.

    My friend, on the other hand, didn't get into his early school (MIT), and then was rejected to all his RD schools except Brown. Now this kid is valedictorian at my extremely competitive school of over 700+. He has leadership positions up the wazoo, is very well rounded, is interesting, and capable of showing his personality well on essays. And yet...he didn't get into HYP (which is unusual if you're val/sal at my school). Brown (and U Chicago, where he got in early) are both excellent schools, but this kid could've done far better. He ought to have applied to more schools, something he didn't do because he thought he'd get into at least one of H, Y, or P (or Penn, or Columbia...or some other really good school).

    To me, this was a lesson that it's better to over-apply than under-apply.
  • leonsdaughterleonsdaughter Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Cautious, your school sounds very status conscious, the result being that if you don't get into HYP you are somehow left to feel inferior. Don't you find that kind of sad? Those three schools, just because they are top tier, are not alike in every way and may not be the right school for everyone who can make the academic cut. How much would you like to bet that when you see your friend next December on break he will tell you how happy he is that he ended up at Brown? It happens all the time. Whether serendipitous or not, when you get into a match school it is often for a good reason--it means the fit is right. Yes, there is a huge random factor that makes things very unfair, but wouldn't you like to see the playing field leveled a bit? The more apps total the more random it will be, since the adcoms have to spend less time per app and are less able to carefully evaluate the apps for a good fit. Let's face it, the panic factor is huge. I don't believe the colleges are to blame; the problems start way earlier, and all kinds of cultural issues add to the complexity. Change needs to come from parents and high schools. An awful lot of kids are willing to admit on CC that they know very little about the school to which they have applied and that they don't like their safety schools. There are a lot of app fees and energy being wasted here, and the resulting disappointment and regret is heartbreaking.
  • RachmaninoffRachmaninoff Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    Leons couldn't have emphasized my point better. Also, who ever said that the HYP's are the epitome of universities? They are the top ranked colleges within the US News and World Report. That does not mean they are unanimously held as the most prestigious amongst other rankings. Remember, US News places ALOT of emphasis on peer reviews and such. You know what happens in peer reviews within the US? Ivy League domination; the Ivy League is almost part of the country's culture. I think people forget alot about the actual reason for universities within society. It's to promote research and creation of intellects. Rankings based upon those two ideas usually rank schools such as Berkely, MIT, and Stanford above the YP's (this is evident in both the SHJU and TIME rankings). My main point is this. Rankings are opinionated, adn shouldn't affect your ideas of which schools are good at all. If anything, rankings only make people apply for prestige and pride, causing people to lack actual knowledge or love for those top institutions. I wont lie that I've applied to 9 schools. I did that, like others, to stay competitive. However, when looking back, I think I can only list two universities that I've deeply researched: Penn, Columbia, and Berkeley. You can blame me as a hypocrite, but I think that somethign should to be done regardless.
  • theoneotheoneo Registered User Posts: 6,934 Senior Member
    It's becoming even more difficult to get into schools, so people need more safeties.

    People are also told to apply to any school they like simply because any chance is greater than no chance (not applying). Therefore, people apply to more reaches.
  • ashernmashernm Registered User Posts: 986 Member
    "Flip more coins, and you increase your chances of flipping heads on at least one."
    Technically, if the probabilities are not independent of each other, so that is false.

    "I would personally love to see the American education system adopt the British policy- you can apply to Oxford or Cambridge, but not both (also, they're limited to 6 schools). If applicants are forced to choose between Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, I believe admit rates and yield would increase- a good bargain for everyone."
    First, Oxford & Cambridge are public. HYP are decidely not. The government is not going to "nationalize" HYP anytime soon.
    Second, what does it matter what the statistics are if the same number of kids in the schools is the same?

    "His attendance of one and rejecting the other 19 means he just took 19 spots away from other hopeful students." The spots are still filled.
    You can count, but then again, you cannot.

    The British policy makes sense in that it is trying to save labor. But the cost of applying to colleges here deters much, daresay most, of the needless applications from being sent. Imagine an online, universal common app with no application fee. Harvard might then have a sub single digit acceptance rate.

    If you wanted to lower the number of applications filed, you could simply increase the fee. Granted, applications from the poor (ie. those with fee waivers) would not be affected, but I doubt they file many of the applications.

    "also, allowing unlimited applications gives yet another advantage to kids who are well-off. if someone can afford to spend $700 on application fees, that gives him an advantage over somebody whose family is strained by 150 dollars' worth. the wealthier kid has higher odds of getting into a top college, b/c he applied to more (assuming his stats are similar to the poor kid's.)"
    There are fee waivers for the poor. And, as I said before, the chances of admission are not independent of each other. Indeed, they are very dependent upon each other. And, there is the law of diminishing returns.

    It is not difficult to send out 10 applications. You rewrite 5 pages a dozen times, and may have to pen the extra essay or three. The stress is at most momentary. That parents trumpet the stress more than the children is indicative. How you worry.

    Possible causes for the increase:
    A boom in the number of kids applying to college. Colleges are not growing fast enough to compensate, acceptance rate declines.

    Also, there may be less desire to stay local, and thus more possible colleges to attend.

    The simplest way to lower your acceptance rate is to drop the application fee.
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