College: Just Ahead?

 

Even though I have only just finished my first quarter of junior year, I could not tell you how many times I have been asked where I plan to go in the fall of 2017. And at this moment, I honestly have no clue where that place will be. My fellow students and I are all trying to navigate the college process and lift our grades and standardized test scores sky-high, even if it means potentially growing some grey hair or biting down fingernails to nubs. We are told constantly that all of our hard work for these tests and grades will pay off in the end when we have a broad choice of schools who all want us.

The Sentinel sat down with St. Luke’s college counselor, Ms. Bell. When asking her about how the college process has changed over the years, she expresses many large differences between now and years past. It schools have become more businesslike and are interested in gaining new students that they normally wouldn’t get. Schools spend valuable resources emailing and contacting high school students to try and attract more people. I, as well as most people who are beginning to look at schools, know more about this than anyone else, receiving countless emails and information packets daily.

Another way that Ms. Bell thinks that the college process has changed in recent years is that students and parents are only interested in specific schools, ones with a lot of prestige and name recognition. Ms. Bell says that parents and students, “care more about the name of the school, than the school itself” and they will assume that one school is better than the other just based off of its name. People want to wear the name of a given school like a “badge of honor” and care about that more than their actual education and overall experience at a school. This causes students to only want to apply to a handful of schools, even if there are better schools out there with that have a better fit for the specific student.

Before students even begin to worry about where they are going to apply, they have to prepare their lengthy resume for these school to look at. An important part of this application, which practically fits who you are on a piece of paper, is standardized testing. Standardized testing was instituted because it gives a clearer view to a student’s intelligence versus grades, which are subject to inflation by the school the student attends. Ms. Bell says that standardized tests are, “Only way to really compare students equally.”

However, more and more students are taking advantage of tutoring designed to allow students to achieve better scores on these tests than they would based on their knowledge alone. This business is giving some students another unfair advantage to those students who may be just as smart as them, or smarter, but unfortunately don’t have the resources to be tutored to this extent. More and more schools are not requiring that students submit their ACT or SAT scores for this reason. While the college process has changed throughout the years, students must continue to adapt so they can find the school and community that fits them the best and enables them to succeed.

 

Lily Williams, Just 4 Fun Editor

Posted by on November 9, 2015. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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