College-Free Zone

<p>D's ED Application got mailed in this morning, and she has made her father and me promise that for one full week, neither of us will breathe one word about college. I'm supposed to open her college mail and hide it unless something shows up that needs to be attended to immediately. I'm going to try hard to keep my promise, but it's going to be hard.</p>

<p>Of course you can come here to CC for your college discussion fix during this week of cold turkey deprivation.</p>

<p>hey if we can't help you get your vent off we'll all be rowdy kids together in the cafe

<p>I'm with your daughter. In fact, I think it's healthy for everyone to take a break. Of course, my son would have liked to take a break until, say, mid-December.</p>

<p>Yes, it's been a relief knowing that we still had other interesting things to talk about! And D does indeed seem much more relaxed and happy this week. But something has come up. It can certainly wait til next week but it's something I feel a need to talk about, so I'll do it here. I got an email today from someone I haven't been in contact with for 5 years, offering D help in getting into a college that this someone has pull with. This school is not on D's list nor, looking at its stats, would she be in great need of a helping hand if it were. This is not too say that the college is awful nor that D is god's gift to colleges anyway, just that realistically it doesn't seem to be a reach for her. I know the email was a friendly helpful gesture, but do kids really get into colleges this way???? Is a lot of this type of thing going on behind the scenes? Is it just a standard recruiting letter, but with a more personal touch than is usually the case? There certainly were points about the college in the email that made it more interesting for D's particular interests than are obvious in the Fiske Guide so it served the purpose of bringing it to my attention.</p>

This is in response to your latest question regarding someone you know offering to help your D get into X college, one to which she had not planned on applying. </p>

<p>I am seeing a LOT of this going on with some people I know. This has been a topic of discussion on the Parent Forum earlier this fall so I won't rehash each circumstance I am aware of. I wrote then and still feel now, disillusioned by some of this type of stuff but am aware of its frequency now. </p>

<p>I do not know the level of "pull" this person has that you know or what his/her connection to X College is. A person writing or calling on your child's behalf usually is not useful unless the person is VERY important to the college (dean, dontated a building, etc.) AND the person knows your child VERY well and is able to give a true personal endorsement (is not an acquaintance but has worked with your child in some capacity). When these two conditions do not exist, then it not only may NOT help but it may even look bad for your child to have "resorted" to the use of this influence. Sometimes, the conventional wisdom is that such types of efforts can hurt one's chances. Again, I do not know the level of "big wig" your friend is with this college but even if he/she has huge influence there, the second condition of this person not really knowing your child well (or at all perhaps, if even you have not been in contact for five years and thus your child was 12 back then) has not been met . I would be less inclined to go forth with this. As well, it is not a college your child had expressed any interest in beforehand and it is mid November now (not that you can't add colleges), she has never visited, and you say she does not even need pull at that school. Those are just my thoughts. Please don't hesitate to ignore this point of view if you feel otherwise though! ;-)

<p>Personally, I would write a very nice thank you to the person but politely decline. I always wonder how the child would feel if they got accepted but never quite knowing if it was based on their merit or the other person's clout. I think it's more important that the child end up at a college that accepted them based on their achievements, wherever it may be.</p>

<p>I agree with you both. I hadn't planned to beseech D to take advantage of the offer--though I couldn't have articulated why not as well as you both did--or even to think about adding this school to her list. I was, instead, troubled by the offer having been made in the lst place and wanted a reality-check as to whether I was right to be troubled by it. It's uncomfortable to feel negative thoughts about what I'm sure was meant to be a kind and generous offer, which is why I wanted feedback about my feelings.</p>

<p>Searching....I also see it as a kind and generous offer. I would thank that person actually. But you have a good "out" because your D is not interested in that school anyway, nor needs any pull and just wants to get in on her own. </p>

<p>It is disconcerting in a way that this stuff goes on but it is not unfathomable and apparently it is more common than I ever realized (based on how many I have heard of that have some form of this going on). You don't have to feel too negative though because you have power over if you choose to use this option or not. I also do not know what "connection" your friend has to the college and as mentioned above, it looks bad when the person is truly not a big wig at the school, nor knows the applicant quite personally. If the person is a huge deal there and had worked with your child in some way (say your child babysits for the dean of students), I would not have thought as negatively of such an offer. In that kind of case, someone who knows the kid and also knows the school personel well, can offer a recommendation and it is worthwhile in that sense. If that is not the true case here, then I think it becomes less approrpriate and also might reflect poorly. </p>


<p>And if the student wasn't admitted, you'd always be left wondering if the attempt to influence had somehting to do with it.</p>

<p>We've had two offers to influence, from people who were directly connected and appear, on the surface, like they could have helped. But, who knows if they've rubbed someone the wrong way at some point and someone's vigorous desire to help might cause them to forget that the influencee really doesn't like them that much :) It happens. Plus, nobody likes to feel like they're being "TOLD" what to do by someone influential. </p>

<p>I agree with all of you.......this is a risk not worthy of taking.</p>