Streams

College Admissions Madness

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Andrew Ferguson, senior editor at The Weekly Standard and the author of Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College, talks about the fraught process of college admissions from a father's point of view. 

Parents, did you survive your child's college admissions process and have advice to offer? Care to share the story of your admissions-induced psychological breaking point? Comment below!

Guests:

Andrew Ferguson

Comments [16]

William B. from Dallas, TX

Yes this is true. Most of the time, the first preference schools are the ones that will most likely reject the applicant. I had this experience when I was applying for a graduate program. My application was not accepted for "early admissions" because my GRE score for English is 450 and not 500. Not to mention, that my analytical/quantitative score was 670... The first two schools I wanted to go to rejected my application... But now, I am happy with the way things have fallen into place... I will go to a very reputable school with excellent student support and exemplary quality of education!

Apr. 11 2011 03:04 PM
Jean from NJ

Today is the day most decisions come in and I am a crazy obsessed parent. I almost cried when Andrew Ferguson said 90% of the kids will go to one of their top 3 picks. Its been a long painful road and when you have a kid that really tried in HS and did well you want to see their hard work have positive consequences. Its hard to tell your kids that hard work pays off when maybe the kid next to him got in because his parents know someone.

Mar. 30 2011 12:48 PM
Andrew from Brooklyn

The majority of today’s college students are children of college graduates. This means that when it comes time to send their children to college, educated parents are more inclined to scrutinize schools, programs and even applications since parents have a point of comparison. In turn, this makes the whole process more competitive and more stressful for all parties involved.

Mar. 30 2011 12:05 PM
Meredith from Mount Vernon NY

What's all this about parents helping their kids get into college? My dad didn't help me write my essays - I wrote my essays. My mom didn't sell my Girl Scout cookies to her coworkers - I went door to door and sold them myself. If the kid is going to survive college on her own, she has to get through the application process on her own, too.

Mar. 30 2011 12:00 PM
Raeann from New York

My son was determined he had to go to a few of the top engineering schools and got a scholarship for 1/2 costs - but was determined to get into MIT. Which he did through tenacity and determination - he joined an MIT fraternity and applied four times before being accepted. It was his work alone that got him where he wanted to be. Except he is now saddled with tremendous debt. But hopefully his undergrad degree from MIT and finally Ph.D. from Cal Tech will pay off to offset his debt.

Mar. 30 2011 11:58 AM
Frank from Long Island

Relax is the only way. I obsessed but my daughters did their own thing. Today they are happy and successful adults.

Mar. 30 2011 11:58 AM
josh from washington heights

I'm not worried about my kid getting rejected. I'm worried about them getting accepted to their dream school and being so blinded by this "win" that they won't understand the type of debt load they and we will incur.

Mar. 30 2011 11:57 AM
The Truth from Becky

Ahhh I remember it well..I agree with Joanne however the first step is to eliminate "us"..as soon as possible, as far as "rejection"...there will be a lot of it in life, let them appreciate the full experience, everything else in life will pale in comparison.

Mar. 30 2011 11:56 AM
Em from NY

Why didn't he ask his friend, Bush Snr for advice. If he could get Dubya into Yale, anything is possible.

Mar. 30 2011 11:56 AM
Bonnie from Staten Island

American colleges are living off the investments of the previous 20 or 30 years. We are no longer putting cash into education but have been increasing all those people who "run" the school but don't actually teach. Far too many of our college students aren't looking for an "education" they are looking for enough schooling for job training in a field that pays well. This, along with the inability to analyze, is the leading edge of our decline as a "great nation." I see nothing to reverse this.

Mar. 30 2011 11:56 AM
Matthew from Great Neck

What's wrong with the word "rejection?" Why do we coddle our children so? You put in an application, and if it's not good enough, the application is "rejected." It's just a word! If you are that insecure about yourself, you shouldn't be applying to college in the first place.

Mar. 30 2011 11:55 AM
Matthew from Great Neck

What's wrong with the word "rejection?" Why do we coddle our children so? You put in an application, and if it's not good enough, the application is "rejected." It's just a word! If you are that insecure about yourself, you shouldn't be applying to college in the first place.

Mar. 30 2011 11:54 AM
Em

Why didn't he ask his friend Bush Snr for advice - if he could get Dubya into Yale, anything is possible.

Mar. 30 2011 11:54 AM
kp

I teach at my state's land grant college....my experience has been that parents get far too involved in the process of getting their kids into college. That is probably why I see so many kids sitting in my classroom who don't really want to be there.....

Mar. 30 2011 11:53 AM
Joanne

Eliminate the pronoun "us" in the process.

Mar. 30 2011 11:48 AM
Florence Rubenfeld from Upper West Side

It's been a miserable process. Before you can send your child off to college, you need the equivalent of a PhD in admissions. Never mind the waste of parents' time, students now spend a good portion of their high school junior and senior years in the college courtship process. All this is the result of colleges entering into marketing competitions with one another - at the huge of expense of today's students.

Mar. 30 2011 11:21 AM

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