“Now a kid who is applying to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton is also applying to the Lehighs and Lafayettes,” offered Brett Levine, director of guidance at Madison High School in New Jersey. It’s the same tier, basically. Lehigh and Lafayette in the same tier as Harvard, Yale, or Princeton? No, Brett, Lehigh and Lafayette are not even close.
This latest “New York Times” article, “Ivy League Crunch Brings New Cachet to Next Tier,” is just another example of how a reporter makes the college admissions process ever more stressful for students and parents. What Alan Finder fails to say in this article is that more students are applying to college and they’re submitting more applications than ever before. Students who are applying to the highly selective colleges are also applying to colleges such as Lehigh, Lafayette, and Bucknell because they are uncertain as to their chances of admissions at their top choices.
While this was not surprising to us, this past year, one of our students was accepted at Brown, Penn, Dartmouth, Duke, Tufts, and Columbia, and was waitlisted at Lehigh. The way we figured this to happen was that based on our student’s grades, scores, and extracurricular accomplishments, Lehigh’s admissions committee, with an eye towards their “US News and World Report” rankings in the area of student selectivity, waitlisted her because they figured if they accepted her it would be highly unlikely that she would attend.
What the article also does not say is how some of these schools drown students with glossy unsolicited advertising materials just so students think they are being courted. The students then apply, the college rejects them, and the college moves up a notch in the rankings because of the selectivity factor. Articles such as Mr. Finder’s only add to the pressure on the student applicant.
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