Each Spring, I’m often asked, “Why wasn’t I admitted to _____ University, when others with lower GPA’s (grade point averages) and fewer extracurricular activities were accepted to that same university, believing a particular set of qualifications automatically merits an acceptance, while those “lesser” qualified should be denied admissions, a misconception of the modern academic meritocracy.
In the current K-12 meritocracy, students are guaranteed the opportunity to apply to college if qualified. However, many qualified students as well as their parents misperceive the college application as simply a formality, where “qualified” equals guaranteed acceptance to the university, instead of a request that can be denied.
What applicants and their families may not consider is the reality of the admissions evaluation process. Namely, amongst the annually record breaking numbers of college applicants, where admissions officers can choose from amongst a sea of candidates who exceed the minimum eligibility qualifications, annually increasing numbers of qualified applicants are thus denied admissions.
Furthermore, admissions officers consider institutional needs, like the number of graduating students who need replacing, when choosing the incoming class, which isn’t information typically disclosed to applicants. Also, in translating seemingly objective criteria like grades, while attempting to account for the varying quality of instruction at each high school, as well as reviewing essays and assessing a student’s interests from an extracurricular resume depends on the perspective of the evaluator, thus increasing subjectivity.
Yet, hoping to be amongst the chosen who defy the odds, applicants apply, and each year, each applicant submits more applications than their colleagues did the year before. Thus, admissions officers assess annually record breaking numbers of applications, and unfortunately, are left with no choice but to deny those who thought they were not to be denied.
Since 2003, Creative Marbles Consultancy’s experts, educators by training and temperament, have advised thousands of families to help unleash their student’s potential. Find us at creativemarbles.com for details how we can help your family.