A friend recently related a long story about a neighbor who tried desperately to get into medical school; the son of alumni, he had all the right grades and extra curriculars, but was turned down repeatedly in every application, even by the less prestigious schools. By some strange miracle, her neighbor's mom happened to be sitting on a plane next to a college medical professor who lent a sympathetic ear, and advised that the student apply for the "research side", rather than the usual MD course... that he did, only to be welcomed hands outstretched by a top southern university who offered both full financial aid and an internship.
Although it is pitched as the student's responsibility, the effort to get one's child into college is a nerve-racking one... even with tools like Naviance
that seek to make the process easier. Who really knows what's expected, how one fits the "profile", or even the likelihood of scholarship or financial aid? The little tidbit of advice we gleamed from a recent college guidance counselor --"It's not a prize to be won, but rather a match to be made" -- offered some assurances, but also raised a number of disconcerting questions about the circumstances surrounding selection and complexity of admissions regulations faced by institutions of higher education. Why all the hoops? Shouldn't our kids, who are most at stake and still developing, just be able to get a good college education without all the hoopla and heartache?
Operation Varsity Blues
is the latest scandal in college admissions, arising from greed and the pressure experienced by many, especially the wealthiest, to get into the "best" schools, at whatever the cost. But what does this frenzy say about the big business of higher education? Test prep, cheating, lying, and buying your way in are symptomatic of a larger societal problem in the way we look at college and all that we hope it brings. Getting In Or Getting Out: College Admissions
addresses the need for common sense and ethics in the college admissions process, so we can embrace good and meaningful steps toward the ultimate goal of higher education -- from the perspective of the U.S. Department of Education -- to prepare minds and cultivate thoughtful, productive citizens by empowering students, institutions, and innovators (see Rethinking Higher Education,
U.S. Department of Education, 2018*).
The following books, which may be checked out for two weeks at a time, are currently on display in Everett Cafe through mid July. Designed by EdLab and curated by library staff, the exhibit draws attention to the nature and problems of the college admissions process, with first hand accounts, as well as fictional narratives. Included is the book Getting In: Gaining Admission to a College of Your Choice
, by Rick Singer
, mastermind of the Operation Varsity Blues scandal -- serving as a loathsome reminder of what not to do. To lighten the matter, you can choose your character and play the colorful college admissions game!
Bruni, Frank. Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
Cafe LB2351.2 .B78 2015
Buckley, Jack, et al. Measuring Success: Testing, Grades, and the Future of College Admissions
. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 2017.
Crawford, Lacy. Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy
. New York: William Morrow, 2013.
Cafe PS3603.R39635 E37 2013.
David, Heather Choate. Elijah & the SAT: Reflections On a Hairy, Old, Desert Prophet and the Benchmarking of Our Children's Lives
. New York: Stewart Press, 2014.
Deresiewicz, William. Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life
. First Free Press, 2014.
Cafe LA227.4 .D74 2014
Ferguson, Andrew. Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid into College
. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Cafe LB2351.2 .F475 2012
Golden, Daniel. The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges--and Who Gets Left Outside
. New York : Crown Publishers, c2006.
Cafe LB2351.2 .G65 2006
Kaplan, Ariel. We Regret To Inform You
. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2018
Cafe PZ7.1.K34 We 2018
Karabel, Jerome. The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton
. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
Cafe LB2351.3.A85 K37 2005
Lemann, Nicholas. The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy
. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999.
On Reserve LB3051 .L44 1999
Singer, Rick. Getting In: Gaining Admission To Your College of Choice
. Key Worldwide, 2014.
Soares, Joseph A. SAT Wars: The Case for Test-Optional College Admissions
. New York : Teachers College Press, c2011.
Cafe LB2353.2 .S22 2011
Steinberg, Jacques. The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College
. New York : Viking, 2002.
Cafe LB2351.2 .S72 2002
Sinnott, Marcia Graham. The Half-Opened Door: Discrimination and Admissions at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, 1900-1970
. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, c2010.
Cafe LD2126 .S9 2010
Toor, Rachel. Admissions Confidential: An Insider's Account of the Elite College Selection Process
. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.
Cafe LB2351.2 .T66 2001
Warikoo, Natasha Kumar. The Diversity Bargain: and Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
* Department of Education, E. O. of the S., Office of Postsecondary Education (ED), & Department of Education, E. O. of the U. S. (2018). Rethinking Higher Education
. US Department of Education. ED591005
At the Everett News Cafe, you'll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.