Page 3 of 3
By Marian Wilde
Applying to college can be stressful, but students and parents alike need to keep things in the proper perspective. Lloyd Thacker, director of The Education Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the admissions process, warns parents to resist the admissions frenzy for prestigious schools. Thacker contends that "college rankings, standardized testing, costly test preparation, expensive marketing consultants for colleges and highly-paid independent consultants for students are profiting from fear, anxiety and myths they have helped create. A commercialized point of view is what turns the admissions process into a game and education into a game."
Thacker adds: "There is very little evidence that correlates the status of a college with effective educational practice. Parents need to listen to the facts, not their friends at cocktail parties."
Trends, shifting college reputations and each student's unique needs means that parents and students need to do their homework. Make a list of the colleges you'd consider, then dig in to do the research on each college, it's programs, requirements, financial aid stats and deadlines.
Be aware that colleges are constantly changing the emphases they place on different admissions factors. Have your student talk to her high school counselor and stay current on the requirements and trends. Brown University, for example, requires multiple essays on its application form, while the University of Oregon requires none.
Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope, Penguin, revised edition 2006.
Earnings from Learning: The Rise of For-Profit Universities edited by David W. Breneman, Brian Pusser, Sarah E. Turner, SUNY Press, 2006.
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.