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As a newspaper columnist, Nancy Devlin, Ph.D. has written over 700 articles on subjects related to education and parenting. Welcome to her Classroom!

College Admission Game

This  is the time of year when students begin to  learn  how

successful they were at playing the college admission game.  They

are   receiving  their  acceptance  and  rejection  letters  from

colleges.   Many  students get into fine colleges but still  feel

that  they  have failed because they did not get  into  the  most

prestigious college or the one that is “in” this year.  I believe

students who feel this way are under the mistaken impression that

getting  into  the the “in” college means half the battle is  won

because  they can now trade on that college’s reputation  and  do

not  have  to work as hard.   This apparently is what happens  in

Japan.   I do not think it is true in the United States.  Here it

is  still  usually true that you get out of college what you  put

into it and your choice should depend on a match between you  and

what a college has to offer you as an individual. 

     To all you students who still are not convinced that
you can be successful no matter what your college,  I  offer you
the following letter my son wrote when he was experiencing

Office of Admissions
Any College
Wherever, U.S.A.
Dear Any College:

Having  now reviewed the many rejection letters received  in

the  last few weeks,  it is with great regret that I must  inform

you that I am unable to accept your rejection at this time.
While I realize that whatever you might read after that last

sentence  may  be of little consolation,  I would still  like  to

clarify some points for you.
This  year,  I applied to a great many of fine colleges  and

universities,  and,  of course,  received many rejection letters.

Unfortunately,  the number of rejection letters that I can accept

is  very  limited.   It is for this reason that I was  forced  to

reject the rejection letters of many qualified institutions.
This  was  not an easy task.   Each rejection  was  reviewed

carefully  and on an individual basis.   Many factors were  taken

into  account,  such  as size of the  institution, student-faculty

ratio, location, reputation, cost and social atmosphere.
I  am certain that most of the colleges applied to are  more

than qualified to reject me.   I am also sure that some  mistakes

were made, but I hope they were few in number.
I  am  aware of the disappointment that this  decision  may

bring,  for  these  were  not  easy  judgments.   Throughout  my       

deliberations  I have kept in mind the importance to you of  this

decision.   I  wish it were possible to cite specific reasons for

each of the determinations I have made but, frankly, it is not.
It  was  even necessary for me to reject some  letters  that

were clearly qualified as rejections.  This is surely my loss.
I appreciate your having enough interest in me to reject me.

and.  although it may seem inappropriate to you at this time, let

me  take the opportunity to wish you well in what I am sure  will

be a highly successful academic year.
See you in the fall.

                                     Paul Devlin

                                     Applicant at Large

Posted in Behavior, Educational Reform, From Experience, Getting the Most For Your Child, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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