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College Application Process Too Competitive?

VegasRollerVegasRoller Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
Is it just me, or does every "chance me" resume look almost exactly the same these days? Are we building robots? I think the college application process is out-of-control and way to competitive. Opinions?

Replies to: College Application Process Too Competitive?

  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 9,185 Senior Member
    Of course they look the same...there are thousands of high schools in the United States. None of them are quite as unique as they'd like to think, and neither are the students. This is true of people at every age, whether they're applying to college or not.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,504 Forum Champion
    A few comments about managing the process:

    -- Recognize that those tippy top resumes do not represent the vast majority of college applicants.

    -- But yes, the slots at the very top tier schools are super-competitive simply because there are more qualified applicants than there are spots available.

    --The best way to keep the process in control is to set reasonable expectations. Recognize that without a hook (which few people have) that admission to the very top tier colleges is a bit of a crapshoot. It is worth applying but admission should not be counted on. Develop a list of reach, match, and safety schools that appear affordable and that you would truly be happy to attend.

    -- And definitely (please) do not decide you have one hyper-competitive "dream school" so if you don't get in you will be devastated.

    --Consider applying rolling to a school so there is at least one acceptance in hand by December to take some pressure off.

  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 18,405 Senior Member
    It only looks more similar on CC as there are mostly high achievement students in the forum.
  • lvvcsflvvcsf Registered User Posts: 2,323 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    I don't know about "too" competitive but it's definitely gotten more competitive.

    1. More students (something like double what it was 15 years ago) - though this is at the beginning stages of a small reversal
    2. More students grooming their resumes. Taking standardized tests multiple times, AP courses and weighted GPAs were just not a thing when I graduated and have become ubiquitous.
    3. The Common Application and students applying to far more schools
    4. Computers and the proliferation of information. There was a time when you got information about a college by requesting information from them. If you didn't know about them you'd never hear of them or receive info on them. Schools were much more regional.
    5. Related to #3. But the best students from all over the country are applying to a relatively small group of schools. They usually apply to others as well but in the past people's selections were more regional. Flying from one coast to the other just wasn't considered as much.
    6. Marketing has become much more intense.
    7. Other stuff I don't have time to think about

    This is only bad if you think by being less competitive that someone would get into a school that wants it or deserves it more than someone else. I agree with happy1, where you would like to go and where you will go will likely be different, don't get too emotionally invested in a particular school.
  • VegasRollerVegasRoller Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    All great advice. i just know that there is so much pressure for grades, sports, extracurriculars, "hooks," etc. My son tried to do it right from day #1. Went the extra mile. All the checks in the boxes. As for many students, that requires sacrifice. And for what? To slug it out for admission to a state university? Maybe Will (from Good Will Hunting) is right. Why pay $200,000 for an education that you can get in the public library? It would certainly reduce the stress.
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