On Parents Bringing Up College Acceptances

College Acceptances, College Acceptance, Parents in Admissions
Parents love to not-so-humbly brag about their children in coffee shops — and particularly about their college acceptances (photo credit: Sach1tb).

It’s always fun to write posts for our college admissions blog from coffee shops. And why? Because if we’re ever short on material to cover in a given day, well, coffee shop-goers can provide ample fodder. Today is no exception. The number of conversations in coffee shops that at some point touch on the highly selective college admissions process is rather mind-boggling. Maybe it’s because we happen to be attuned to this subject matter. Or maybe it’s just because it seems to be the most talked about topic among the parents of high schoolers. So what exactly did we overhear today?

Parents Love to Bring Up College Acceptances

A father seated a few seats down from us remarked to a fellow dad, “You know, I’ve been setting aside money for my daughter’s college tuition for years. Well, it turns out I don’t need it. Because she got a full ride to Cornell. A full scholarship. We couldn’t believe it!” The other dad then congratulated him and gave him a big pat on the back. And, of course, we rolled our eyes backwards and forwards and backwards again. Out of their view, naturally. And why the eye rolls? Because Ivy League schools, including Cornell University, do not offer scholarships. Ivy League schools offer financial aid but they do not offer scholarships so for this dad to suggest that his daughter got a merit scholarship is misleading. It’s a not-so-humble brag that simply doesn’t ring true.

Parents Should Be Honest About College Acceptances

But of course, the dad with whom he shared this tale will go home and tell his spouse and children that so and so received a full scholarship to Cornell. And then folks will be under the impression that merit scholarships are available in the Ivy League, perpetuating a misconception. So what are the lessons to glean? For starters, be mindful who is listening in coffee shops. Also, if you’re going to not-so-humbly brag about your children, at least do so honestly so as to not perpetuate misconceptions that only serve to make the college admissions process more stressful for all.


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