College competition creates complex problems

Admissions packets from Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Yale University. When admitting students, top universities will look at GPA and test scores, along with the difficulty of courses applicants took in high school.

Now that fall is starting this 2016-2017 school year, thousands of high school seniors across the country are beginning to complete applications for college.

While it may seem that applying for college is only something to be concerned about when you are an upperclassman, the whole process becomes important the minute you step into high school.

A study conducted by Rachel B. Rubin, a doctoral student at Harvard University, shows that most universities with low admittance rates take an applicant’s academic qualifications into the most consideration. Figures such as grade point average (GPA) and test scores play an important role, but colleges also look at the rigor of courses an applicant took in high school and how they compare to other students participating in the same class across the country.

Institutions also take extra curriculars into high consideration. This includes activities such as community service, clubs, athletics, and participation in the arts.

However, studies have shown that your ability to build a good college resume can even be determined by which preschool you go to as a child.

An examination done by the New York Times shows that children who live in New York are more likely to get into an Ivy League school if they attend a private preschool. By attending an elite preschool, it is likely that a child will be able to attend private elementary, middle, and high schools because their parents have the money to send them there.

Private schools usually provide many different higher-level courses that public schools don’t supply, giving prep school students an advantage over public school students when it comes to applying for college. This is a disadvantage to children whose families can’t afford to pay for a private school education.

Because colleges look at so many different elements when admitting new students, the competition to beat other teenagers out for a spot at a school is high. It becomes crucial for students to start building their college resumes early, by taking numerous honors and AP level courses and participating in many extracurriculars starting as high school freshmen.

But for underprivileged kids who are very capable of being selected to attend a high-level university, the system of competition negatively affects them, as they may not have attended good primary schools.

In a system that favors the wealthy, intelligent students, it makes it even more important to start thinking about college earlier. Being a sophomore, I have already taken many honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses and I plan on taking more. Without these high school credits, it will be very hard to be competitive with other students across the nation.

I accept the fact that there has to be some element of pressure when applying for college, but our world’s youth is already too competitive. College pressure puts so much stress on teenagers and doesn’t make applying for college exciting or enjoyable. Kids concentrate more on getting a lot of AP credits and don’t try to take classes to explore future careers.

Teenagers should be able to focus more on looking forward to college instead of worrying about whether or not they will even be admitted into a school. By minimizing college application competition, we can allow more young adults to become highly educated and enable them to lead successful careers that are important today.


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