Connections: the morality of using them?

<p>I have connections to a few of my top schools who have guaranteed admission to me if I choose to apply early decision. But none of them are my first choice. Do I give up the possibility of my dream school for something pretty good and wonder what would've happened for the rest of my life? Or should I do it the fair way like everyone else? Even if I did get into my first choice with a connection, wouldn't i feel like I'd cheated? </p>

<p>I am very conflicted. </p>

<p>Is it immoral to use connection to get into a school? Is it even practical?
I could use some input.</p>

<p>I would say go for your dream school, if you really think you have a shot. See if you can use those connections to improve your chances of admission at the other schools, even if you aren't applying ED.</p>

<p>While it isn't exactly "fair" to use connections to get into a school, it is very practical for some people. Legacy considerations have an effect at many schools, and I can't say I didn't take advantage of my own family connections during college application time.</p>

<p>However, I can't really comment on the morality of the whole thing.</p>

<p>It might not be "fair" to use connections. But it's also not fair for athletes, legacy and other "hooked" students to be admitted over more qualified candidates.</p>

<p>As long as the system is as rigged as it is, then by all means play every card you can (and deal it from the bottom of the deck if you have to).</p>

<p>All throughout life people will morally use connections - to get a job, to find a contractor, to get a better deal, etc.</p>

<p>Do you know why your connections say they'll guarantee admission if you apply ED? Why won't they put in a good word for an RD app?</p>

<p>Even though neither my kids nor I had such connections, I don't see a problem with using connections to get into school. It's a fact of life that people use connections all of the time.</p>

<p>My suggestion, however, is not to rely on your connections. From what I've seen on CC, there are many well-meaning people who think they have more pull than they do have. Just because someone is an alum or even teaches at a college doesn't mean that they can guarantee your admission to the college.</p>

<p>Make sure you have a safety that you'd love attending and that you are 100% sure of being admitted to and being able to afford. </p>

<p>If you have a dream school, better to apply to that school than to apply ED elsewhere and then wonder if you could have gotten into your dream school.</p>

<p>Use your connections. All the other recruited athletes, and old families in the US are using connections.</p>

<p>Chances are, you're not getting into your dream school (statistics dont lie). Use those connections at Penn, Columbia, Brown, Duke, or NW.</p>

<p>
[quote]

Do you know why your connections say they'll guarantee admission if you apply ED? Why won't they put in a good word for an RD app?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Think about it.
Are you going to put yourself out, pull strings and recommend someone, only to later have them turn the school down and go somewhere else?</p>

<p>While I don't have "connections", I'm an active alumnus and every few years I'm asked to write a letter of recommendation for someone's son/daughter who is applying to my alma mater. I will only do this if they apply ED for the reasons stated above.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Chances are, you're not getting into your dream school (statistics dont lie). Use those connections at Penn, Columbia, Brown, Duke, or NW.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>What did I miss? How do you know the OP's dream school and where s/he has connections?</p>

<p>


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<p>Oh. Interesting. I suppose you make a good point when someone asks you for a recommendation. </p>

<p>I'm so naive about these things I assumed from the OP that the connections offered their influence. It's just outside my M.O. to put conditions on things I do voluntarily.</p>

<p>figureskater - This past spring I have seen a few of my son's friends devastated because some of those "guaranteed connections" were unable to pull through for them. (2 athletic and one academic) Nothing in life is a sure thing.</p>

<p>@DougBetsy</p>

<p>if the OP has connection at top tiered schools with ED programs, that gives a reasonable hint as to where those schools are.</p>

<p>In addition, if the OP's dream school is not those ED schools where he or she has connections, it is reasonable to assume that that school is in the top 10. People like to dream big at CC....</p>

<p>Therefore, without further stats about the OP, i will assume his stats are ok and statistics do the rest.</p>

<p>
[quote]
if the OP has connection at top tiered schools with ED programs, that gives a reasonable hint as to where those schools are.</p>

<p>In addition, if the OP's dream school is not those ED schools where he or she has connections, it is reasonable to assume that that school is in the top 10. People like to dream big at CC....</p>

<p>Therefore, without further stats about the OP, i will assume his stats are ok and statistics do the rest.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Oh. You're assuming that figureskater's "top schools" = "CC top tier" schools. Based on that I guess the rest of your logic works.</p>

<p>But, FWIW, not everybody's dream school is ranked above Penn, Brown, Duke, etc.</p>

<p>My guess is her dream school is Barnard.</p>

<p>How about this...</p>

<p>What schools do you have "connections" for? How do you like these schools? Would you just be going because you could, or do you genuinely want to?</p>

<p>What about your dream school? How do you stack up to that? Is it a dream, or a real possibility?</p>

<p>Ultimately, you have to live with yourself. Assuming that you can definitely get into these other ones, would it be worth that security to give up the dream school? Or could you feasibly stand a chance at regular admissions at the other schools if your dream school turned down your early application?</p>

<p>Y'all have been very helpful, I really appreciate this. I guess this is life. My other options (with advantages) are still really good schools, and they have low admit rates. I'm not so concerned about getting into the school that is the hardest to get into. I don't need a trophy admit letter. The schools I have connections to are very tough to get into--some tougher than my first choice, and a lot of kids would really love to go to those places, and so would I. But none of them are the BEST fit for me, mostly because of skating. I have a solid connection at a great school, but I'd have to drive for hours to get to the nearest rink (which isn't that great in the first place). I know there are no sure things, but not pulling strings would put me at a higher risk of not ending up at a good school. I'm within the midrange of the schools where I have advantages; they wouldn't be lowering standards to let in a girl like me. The dream is Barnard. I have people in admissions elsewhere. Call me a romantic, but I'll probably end up applying where I really want to go. And fyi- the connections aren't at any Ivys or anything. None of them feel like a good fit. My dream school is the school where I have felt right on campus. When I say dream, I'm not talking about name recognition or admit rates. I want a school with intelligent, curious young women like myself that offers the things I really want in a location with a feel I really like. A school that will be good for more than just my academic goals. My extracurriculars matter, and I need a place where I can do them. I don't need or want a huge university. I could go on, but I won't. I just feel like Barnard is the best fit for me. That being said, I have some safeties. I'm not counting on anything.
This thread has helped me realize that none of the college process is really all that fair, so I might as well utilize my advantages. It comes down to deciding between security and fit.
ps- @ Billymc- those are good things to consider, and you've helped me consolidate my worries. A lot of you have made my choices easier. Thanks!</p>

<p>Use the connections. Is it really fair that URMs receive an advantage? No. The system isn't fair.</p>