By now, everyone in the US with a student planning to attend college at some point has heard about the college admissions scandal.  Just last week, a couple celebrities were named among the accused parents.  Other parents among the accused are also wealthy and have high positions in their various fields of law, finance and others.

It’s painful to think of students who have been denied entry into the universities named (Stanford, Georgetown, University of Texas at Austin, USC, UCLA, Wake Forest and Yale) to make a place for a student whose admission was secured by criminal means.

The Role Of Parents

It’s also painful to think of students whose parents essentially said “you’re not good enough to do this on your own,” or “I cannot be satisfied with you going to the school you can get into on your own” and felt compelled to break the law.  What does that do for a student?  More than a student problem, this sounds like a parent problem.

We’ve discussed the hovering parents, the helicopter parents and the lawnmower parents (who mow down every obstacle in their child’s way).  How exactly do those parents and their actions help a young person learn to be resilient, to bounce back from adversity and be comfortable in his or her own skin?  They don’t.

Put It In Perspective

A bit of perspective:  the freshman classes at the schools noted above (other than UT-Austin) are small; these schools represent a tiny proportion of all the students who enter college in any given year.  And the average acceptance rate at all colleges and universities across the US is 66%, according to a 2017 report from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling.

There are more than 2000 accredited four year colleges in the US, and only about 50 of them generally admit fewer than 30 percent of applicants, according to CollegeData.com.

More perspective:  There are thousands of companies across the US whose CEOs graduated from hundreds of different colleges and universities.  The same is true of Nobel prize winners and others who have excelled in their fields.  According to an article from USNew.com about the college background of Fortune 500 CEO’s, many CEO’s from top US companies graduated from public universities.

Making the most of college is more about what the student chooses to put into it rather than graduating with a particular name on the diploma.  A recent NPR article noted a 2014 Gallup Poll of over 29,000 college grads which found no difference in “satisfaction in work or fulfillment in life” between graduates of exclusive private colleges or regional state universities.

The conversation about the college admissions scandal has also brought up the fact that some students have certain advantages over others in college admissions.  The opportunity for test preparation is one of those advantages.

As we see it, taking the time to prepare for a test is not gaining an unfair advantage.  It’s learning—about how a test is structured, how questions are written, and time management strategies.  Success is up to the student.

We’re proud of the work we do and we celebrate when our students improve their scores—whether it’s from a 21 to a 25 or a 31 to a 35.  For us, it’s all about helping students to do their best.