In high school I kept busy. I took dance classes four days a week, was a member (and eventually editor) of my high school yearbook, served on the regional board for my youth group, took numerous AP classes, tutored at the middle school and worked long into the night to keep up my GPA.
Looking back, I don’t know how I did it all without serious drugs; I was crazy. But, at the time, I knew exactly what I had to do to set myself apart from everyone else in my class in order to get into my first choice college.
I know I wasn’t alone alone. I’m sure there are many people reading this right now and thinking, “Yup. Same story for me…except I was also on the tennis and softball teams!” We all did what we had to do. With more kids applying to college than ever before, the competition was fierce; what other choice did we have?
Then there were the unfortunate ladies (and I know there are lots of you) that are reading this and thinking to themselves, “That is all you did? I was also class president and helped the starving children in Somalia and still didn’t get into my #1!”
I feel for you guys, I really do. And if you happen to be one of those bitter students who did all that work and was forced to go to your second choice school, stop reading now because you are going to get pissed.
Statisticians are now saying that, because the number of high school graduates is set to peak in the next year or two, there will be less kids applying to colleges in the coming years. Fewer applicants means less demand. Less demand means less selectivity, which means that the major competition to get into colleges is about to end.
Too bad we are already here, eh?
At first glance, this seems totally unfair – especially for those top notch students who didn’t get in where they would have liked – but it is quite the opposite. Knowing these statistics, many Ivy League schools and other popular schools are turning their attention (and financial aid money) to the students they have historically ignored: low income students, minority students, and those who normally wouldn’t aim for such esteemed institutions. This shift will present opportunities to those who never had them before, in addition to the many students who will benefit from the added diversity on campus and in the classroom.
This is also good for those of you currently enrolled in two year Community College programs; many schools are teaming up with community colleges to offer spaces to graduates to finish their last two years at a top tier institution. This is an opportunity that was non-existent until now and one that will mean a high quality education for many more promising students.
Sure, it sorta sucks for those of us who had to give up sleep, eating, and excessive TV watching in high school in order to be a part of every last activity, but all that stuff built your character and made you the person you are today! (So says my mother.) Not to mention the fact that no matter what school you ended up at, you are most likely having the best time ever. If all of that doesn’t make you feel any better, consider the possibility of this trend spreading to grad schools;
Harvard, here I come!