General Etiquette > Family and Children

Bribing / scaring college admissions offices

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Apparently the popular response to "you're on our college's wait list" is now "Okay, I'll just pitch a tent / offer you free surgery / turn into a lovesick stalker who bombards you with offerings."  :o

Interesting article, and the comments were interesting too! Thanks! Younger dd is freshman in music program, so she had to apply for admission to the college THEN had to schedule her music audition, before a decision was made on her application. Fortunately a state college, where our Virginia prepaid education account covers all her tuition! We just have to pay room and board and books and accompanist for her performance course finals....

This only makes these people look pathetically desperate.

The over-the-top gifting, sending of projects/information/videos, and incessant contact reeks of entitlement, IMO.  Is this also how they behave when they receive a project grade they don't like?  Will they stalk the professors of this school in a similar fashion to get a class override signed? 

I have a friend that teaches undergrad classes and has received phone calls from mommies and daddies wanting to know why their pwecious angel is failed Geography 101 (or demanding that my friend give out extra credit because pwecious just needs some help).  This trend in education is bothersome. 

The truth is that at some point in everyone's life, something they want is out of their reach because someone else is better.  I'm sure everyone can think of an example from their own life.  You have to find alternatives.  Harassing people makes you look like a total boob.

Bribing and stalking are right out. If they didn't put their best effort into the application in the first place, why do they think that more of the same will do the trick?

Yes, being on the wait list stinks, but that's why students these days have to apply to multiple schools. Eight applications is typical at the boys' school and I've heard of kids applying to 12 or 13 places. You apply to a range of schools, from the easy to the difficult. If you decide that only one school in the world is the right one for you, then you set yourself up for disappointment. There's also various early decision/early admit approaches, where you apply to one school early and agree that if they accept you, you're going there. Had the young woman in the article gone for early decision, it's likely that she would have gotten in and avoided the wait list.

My eldest is a junior so we're going through a lot of this stuff right now. It's amusing, in a sad sort of way, to watch how anxious people get over the process. The college advisors at the school need to have "Don't Panic" written across their foreheads in friendly blue letters, and hand out a towel at the start of the junior year.

People lose all sense of perspective. At the boys' school, a lot of the kids go to Ivy League colleges -- it's sometimes hard to talk to other parents when your kid isn't Ivy League material. My eldest would be absolutely miserable there.

Anecdote: We had a panel with admissions officers from a number of schools, large and small. One dad stood up and said "I hear that the average freshman GPA is 3.9 at your school." You could hear the panic in his voice. The admissions officer got a glazed look on his face and replied: "First, that's a weighted average, meaning that it gives extra points for honors and AP classes. Second, it's an average. About half of the students admitted have a GPA lower than that." The glazed look told me that he hears that same question over and over again. The same question, worded differently or addressing SAT or ACT scores, was repeated throughout the evening.

I liked this comment on the article:

--- Quote ---Dear students, your own perception of your "awesomeness" is not what it takes to succeed in college nor does it impress the responsible adults who make the admissions decisions. The process of higher education requires self-discipline, intellectual curiosity, and the ability to learn from criticism. In two of the three videos I managed to watch the students "starring" in them--let's face it, they're making videos as if they're celebrities--admitted that their grade point averages and test scores were less than perfect (how much less, I wonder). Yet they seem to think that the colleges to which they've applied should simply ignore this because, well, they're so cute and "awesome," at least in their own minds. To others, though, these videos betray a severe absence of anything resembling a mature grasp of reality.

--- End quote ---


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