Colleges turning away even top students


#1

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[size=3]Colleges turning away even top students[/size]

Rejection rates climb at many of nation’s elite universities

By Jay Mathews and Susan Kinzie
http://media.msnbc.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Sources/Art/postLogo_msnbc.gif
Updated: 8:30 a.m. ET April 7, 2006

It’s not all in your head. It is harder to get into college this year.

Selective schools in the region and the country are reporting more rejections than ever. There has been a bulge in the number of college-age students, which is expected to continue until the end of the decade. Add in an increased desire among their baby boomer parents to enroll their kids in elite schools – and the inflated number of applications from students trying to hedge their bets – and you have the ingredients for a season of frustrated hopes and unexpected disappointments.

At Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Fairfax County magnet school known for sending graduates to the best-known colleges, students are feeling the strain. One of the school’s highest-ranking students was rejected by Yale University despite having two close relatives who had attended that university. “We’re all still pretty stunned,” said Anita Kinney, the Jefferson student body president.

msnbc.msn.com/id/12175522/**


#2

With students applying to so many colleges these days it’s no wonder the strain is hurting. Even though the person from TJ didn’t get into Yale, connections with other people at the school do actually help (though it’s not a guarantee).

When I was in high school I applied to 4 schools; 2 public in-state, 2 private out of state. I ended up going to the out of state private one. Mom used to complain about the money it cost to put me through…but now I’m at the same place for grad school and the university is paying for it, so she’s pretty happy.

I think it would help too if students didn’t get so caught up in having to go to an elite private school and realize that there are lots of great and affordable public universities.


#3

[quote=RockAndHoops]With students applying to so many colleges these days it’s no wonder the strain is hurting. Even though the person from TJ didn’t get into Yale, connections with other people at the school do actually help (though it’s not a guarantee).

When I was in high school I applied to 4 schools; 2 public in-state, 2 private out of state. I ended up going to the out of state private one. Mom used to complain about the money it cost to put me through…but now I’m at the same place for grad school and the university is paying for it, so she’s pretty happy.

I think it would help too if students didn’t get so caught up in having to go to an elite private school and realize that there are lots of great and affordable public universities.
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I think that is the key right there. It seems a lot of (no where near all) parents of straight A students have this kind of mentallity the child must go to an elite school and the child eventually picks it up too.


#4

[quote=wabrams]I think that is the key right there. It seems a lot of (no where near all) parents of straight A students have this kind of mentallity the child must go to an elite school and the child eventually picks it up too.
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Haaaaa Haaaaa haaaaa…My kid is doing it the cheap way…community college for 2 yrs then U of I for 2. Actually, since the two colleges are so close alot of teachers work at both…big difference is the cost, not the education. My kid was so thrilled at the prospect of saving that much money, he didn’t even sweat it. The U of I has a deal with the local community college to accept anyone that has a 3.0 and an associates in the pre U of I approved curriculum. Meanwhile saving mom…oh about $45,000 bucks!


#5

[quote=BlestOne]Haaaaa Haaaaa haaaaa…My kid is doing it the cheap way…community college for 2 yrs then U of I for 2. Actually, since the two colleges are so close alot of teachers work at both…big difference is the cost, not the education. My kid was so thrilled at the prospect of saving that much money, he didn’t even sweat it. The U of I has a deal with the local community college to accept anyone that has a 3.0 and an associates in the pre U of I approved curriculum. Meanwhile saving mom…oh about $45,000 bucks!
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Thats a heck of a good deal!


#6

[quote=BlestOne]The U of I has a deal with the local community college to accept anyone that has a 3.0 and an associates in the pre U of I approved curriculum. Meanwhile saving mom…oh about $45,000 bucks!
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Smart mom, smart kid! :slight_smile:

I’m always amused at the way the “elite” schools sometimes differentiate themselves from the rest – they have so many Nobel Prize winners on the faculty, so many millions of volumes in the library… Question: will the average undergraduate ever actually see any of those rarified profs in the classroom? And how many millions of books does the average full-time college student have time to read, anyway? :smiley:

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#7

It is rough to be rejected by your dream school. When I was in HS I went through the entire process of applying to the Naval Academy. I got a nomination from two senators. I made it through all the preliminary cuts only to find out in MAY that I didn’t make the last cut! Today, I don’t see how I would have made it through because I am so independant but at the time I was crushed. Not to mention it was a nightmare making all the ends meet in order to finish my application for OU. The first time I stepped on OU’s campus was the day I moved here!


#8

[quote=BlestOne]Haaaaa Haaaaa haaaaa…My kid is doing it the cheap way…community college for 2 yrs then U of I for 2. Actually, since the two colleges are so close alot of teachers work at both…big difference is the cost, not the education. My kid was so thrilled at the prospect of saving that much money, he didn’t even sweat it. The U of I has a deal with the local community college to accept anyone that has a 3.0 and an associates in the pre U of I approved curriculum. Meanwhile saving mom…oh about $45,000 bucks!
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Great Idea. There is nothing wrong with taking your pre-reqs at a junior or community college. English lit 1301 is the same every where. In those class TA are going to teach them anyways so why does it matter which school it is at? Plus it gives you time to figure out what field you really want to study so by the time you get to your higher level classes you a.) know you want to be there and b.) don’t waste your money on classes you don’t need for your major.


#9

[quote=CarolAnnSFO]Smart mom, smart kid! :slight_smile:

I’m always amused at the way the “elite” schools sometimes differentiate themselves from the rest – they have so many Nobel Prize winners on the faculty, so many millions of volumes in the library… Question: will the average undergraduate ever actually see any of those rarified profs in the classroom? And how many millions of books does the average full-time college student have time to read, anyway? :smiley:

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Ain’t it the truth!!!
(Wizard of Oz)

I often wondered why people didn’t do the community college/university split more because you still get the degree from the University…it doesn’t say ONLY ATTENDED FOR 2 YEARS on the diploma…so why pay for all the hoopla? Most of the classes are taught by grad students anyway. I work with a professor at UIC (actually we fund his research) and from what I can see, he is rarely there, he is usually out doing seminars at other colleges or at meetings in China…usually at our expense!


#10

[quote=BlestOne]Ain’t it the truth!!!
(Wizard of Oz)

I often wondered why people didn’t do the community college/university split more because you still get the degree from the University…it doesn’t say ONLY ATTENDED FOR 2 YEARS on the diploma…so why pay for all the hoopla? Most of the classes are taught by grad students anyway. I work with a professor at UIC (actually we fund his research) and from what I can see, he is rarely there, he is usually out doing seminars at other colleges or at meetings in China…usually at our expense!
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This has not been my experience here. Most of my professors are full professors and the ones that aren’t are PhD students who have a ton of info to offer us. I didn’t choose to go to community college first because a lot of universities require you to take 2 CC classes for the credit of one class. This is almost always the case for Philosophy.


#11

[quote=nucatholic]This has not been my experience here. Most of my professors are full professors and the ones that aren’t are PhD students who have a ton of info to offer us. I didn’t choose to go to community college first because a lot of universities require you to take 2 CC classes for the credit of one class. This is almost always the case for Philosophy.
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Thats why you’ve got to make sure they transfer over before you start your classes. Most CC do a semi-partnership w/ a local university or at least have an unspoken agreement w/ re: to classes transferring.


#12

In my nearly 5 years at the university I’ve rarely gone to the library (you just don’t need it as much in applied math). But there are good chances to see some of those rare but famous professors…but you’re right, they can be hard to come by. I actually have taken classes with 2 or 3 of these top dogs, but they are few and far between until you get into the higher levels (and their fields). For one of them I also did it overseas, so that’s a rare chance.

But you’re right, famous profs may draw attention, but unless you’re studying their fields in depth you likely won’t get a class with them.


#13

[quote=BlestOne].My kid is doing it the cheap way…community college for 2 yrs then U of I for 2.
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This is what our oldest did. When she was ready to transfer, she applied to a local state school, but got a better scholarship from a smaller, private school. She’s really happy there, though the commute probably wears on her. Oh well, she’s young.

The whole SAT, multiple college application frenzy makes me laugh. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, if one plans to go to community college for 2 years and then transfer, an SAT score isn’t always necessary. When dd transferred, the 4 yr schools she applied to didn’t care about SAT scores, just transcripts. —KCT


#14

I remember my senior year, my parents told me to pick 2 schools to apply for; if I didn’t get accepted, then I could apply to more.


#15

I’m getting nervous. I’m usually a straight A with one B student, taking several APs, involved in many activities, working, volunteering,and seemingly more qualified people are getting turned away from not Ivy League but just good schools. UMASS is huge and in the middle of nowhere, I don’t want to end up there!


#16

[quote=siamesecat]I’m getting nervous. I’m usually a straight A with one B student, taking several APs, involved in many activities, working, volunteering,and seemingly more qualified people are getting turned away from not Ivy League but just good schools. UMASS is huge and in the middle of nowhere, I don’t want to end up there!
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Part of that has to do with the fact that many “qualified” students are book worms with no social skills or any ability to work in a team. Be the whole package. Grades are important but they aren’t the only thing. It also depends on what you are interested in.

Oh, and if you are as good as you say you are, then I doubt you’ll have trouble getting in somewhere good. Your numbers would actually be in the Ivy ballpark (though with them, you never know, I had like a 4.6 and 1520 SATs and didn’t get into MIT, and my numbers were far above the average). A lot of college applications these days can be a roll of the dice.

EDIT:// Wow, I can’t even say that college apps are a c*** shoot. Hmmm.

Eamon


#17

Let’s be completely honest, many times it is not what you know but who you know. That is the game we play. While applying to medical school, I knew about this. I know that a spot at another school could go to a child of a physician who knew the dean and played golf with him. I don’t even get upset about it because it is tradition: in the Hippocratic Oath it clearly says to pass on your knowledge to you kin. I know that if my child wants to be a physician someday, I will do my best to get them in (if I think that they will be able and capable of finishing that is).


#18

[quote=turboEDvo]Part of that has to do with the fact that many “qualified” students are book worms with no social skills or any ability to work in a team. Be the whole package. Grades are important but they aren’t the only thing. It also depends on what you are interested in.

Oh, and if you are as good as you say you are, then I doubt you’ll have trouble getting in somewhere good. Your numbers would actually be in the Ivy ballpark (though with them, you never know, I had like a 4.6 and 1520 SATs and didn’t get into MIT, and my numbers were far above the average). A lot of college applications these days can be a roll of the dice.

EDIT:// Wow, I can’t even say that college apps are a c*** shoot. Hmmm.

Eamon
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Actually I’d say it’s the opposite. Kids who have way too many activities with no leadership positions and not straight A’s bust ill great grades arent getting in. The president of the book club with an over 100 average probably would. Idk though.


#19

Threads such as this tend to be a lot of sour grapes. Let’s face it folks, getting into an Ivy League school is like becoming President of the United States, running for an office (at high school or government), being first in your class, marrying the most popular girl in school, or anything else competive in life. Not everybody gets what they want. That’s life and no one said life is fair. But I don’t see why people need to make themselves feel better by disparaging those who do beat the competitive odds. Can’t we feel happy for others and ourselves?


#20

[quote=siamesecat]Actually I’d say it’s the opposite. Kids who have way too many activities with no leadership positions and not straight A’s bust ill great grades arent getting in. The president of the book club with an over 100 average probably would. Idk though.
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but as Eamon said… that is why the whole picture counts. I did well in schoo (4.3 avg) in high school and had a lot of extra curricular activities… I got in anywhere and did a bunch of my friends with similar scores. One even ended up at MIT. She did well in high school, but also had many roles on the soccer and softball field. She and I chuckle about college… she even wrote a poem really describing the process…
**

[font=Times New Roman]Choosing

**

by Melissa Midori Tanner

“The way we choose from applicants,”

Admissions people grin,

“We throw the files down the stairs

And those face-up get in.”

These information sessions all

Contain the same poor jest,

And if they give the same old spiels

How can I choose what’s best?

I visit twenty colleges

And note distinctive facts,

But in my mind they seem to blur

Like melted colored wax.

I go online to find out more

On those that catch my eye;

The sites are biased - I can’t tell

When truth is stretch’d toward lie.

I ask friends and alumni for

Opinions on each college,

But from conflicting sentences

I gain no new net knowledge.

My hotmail inbox brims with mail,

So many, yet so few,

For every email reads the same:

“The College X wants you.”

My snail-mailbox is also full;

I organize and file

The letters, label “to be read,”

And then forget the pile.

I buy Fiske’s Guide to Colleges

And then Princeton Review,

But that leaves me with far less time

As college facts accrue.

The problem’s not a dearth of facts,

But rather, an excess;

A thousand college choices call;

Which ones lead to success?

I take the viewbooks to the stairs

And then I let them fly -

And those that land face up are those

To which I will apply.

GOOD LUCK

Laura :p[/font]


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