Sunday, April 27, 2014

Yes, #Ivy Admissions Are Tighter For Some Than Before

No, you are not hallucinating. It is harder to get into the Ivies for certain groups of people that would have gotten into them a few decades ago - that is, high achieving, largely affluent American kids. The reasons for this are not news to everyone, but the article in today's Times, "Getting Into the Ivies," analyzing why these numbers have changed, will help all of us understand what kids in the U.S. are up against when they apply to elite colleges and universities. The answer? Follow the money. Ivies are now admitting large numbers of foreign students in large part because they don't need financial aid.

What does this mean to U.S. kids and their families with Ivy hopes and dreams? I could say what people in my field expect me to say: "The right essay will make all the difference." Of course I believe in the essays, but I also believe that it's time for students and parents to look beyond the Ivies in their college searches, and try to come to terms with the fact that the landscape has changed.

Just yesterday, I was talking to a mother in Massachusetts whose daughter is a rising senior. When I mentioned some schools to think about, including an outstanding school in the Midwest, the mother blanched. "I couldn't send her that far away." I sputtered and tried to explain that this wasn't really so far, but before I could finish my sentence, she said, "She has her heart set on Stanford. I would let her go that far if it was to Stanford." Teenagers want to separate from their parents, but they also care what they think, and they pick up their parents' energy and attitudes. Keeping an open mind in this process is a great place to start.

And there's this: Times change. Climates change. Kids change. Even landscapes sometimes change. A great quality to cultivate is adaptability. Have a look at the Times piece and let me know what you think. Here's an excerpt:

"For American teenagers, it really is harder to get into Harvard — or Yale, Stanford, Brown, Boston College or many other elite colleges — than it was when today’s 40-year-olds or 50-year-olds were applying. The number of spots filled by American students at Harvard, after adjusting for the size of the teenage population nationwide, has dropped 27 percent since 1994. At Yale and Dartmouth, the decline has been 24 percent. At Carleton, it’s 22 percent. At Notre Dame and Princeton, it is 14 percent." READ MORE
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