It’s been a week since the college admissions scandal first made the news. When I first heard about it, I didn’t want to believe it. I thought something can’t be right. I couldn’t imagine actresses like Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin would bribe and cheat to get their kids into college.
Then I heard about the recordings and what was documented from them. I realized this was true. Was I shocked this happened? No, but typically parents would give a large donation to a college to ensure their child’s admittance to a specific college. While technically it’s legal, it’s still not ethically right to do. But as I have learned college is a business, and they need to make money.
Now more in-depth investigations start, lawsuits abound, and parents and high school kids are left wondering what do we do now. Most likely there will be some changes made to the college admissions process.
Parents, I know some of you have your heart set on your child going to your alma mater or another school because of its name. But guess what? It’s not about what you want, it’s what’s best for your child.
One of my favorite articles to come out of this scandal is from NPR, “Does it Matter Where You Go to College?” In the article, they site Gallup research that found college selectivity did not correlate at all with later satisfaction in work or fulfillment in life. As NPR reported in 2014, “Those percentages did not vary based on whether the grads went to a fancy name-brand school or a regional state college, one of the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings or one of the bottom 100.”
Forcing your child into a path that is not their own will only lead to anxiety, frustration, dropping out, and possibly debt. College is stressful enough without the pressure from their parents. You can check out my article about college stress here.
In my interview last fall with a Linda Dennis, a college application specialist, she shared that kids who declare a major in the application process and show they have already taken steps towards that career can have an advantage. It shows they are serious about that career. In light of the scandal, I think this will play a more significant role in the college admissions process. Colleges will be paying closer attention to why the child wants to attend their school. It’s transitioning to more than just the overall reputation of the school but how the specific major will help them towards a career.
Some kids determine from an early age what their career path will be and they go for it. Most kids have no idea what they want to do. You may be thinking, how can a teenager determine what career they want, since their interests change so much at this time? This is not true. In each of us, there are inherent traits and interests that are well formed by high school age. It may seem the child’s interests change because they can only identify those interests through their experiences. A good career assessment can help identify those traits that kids may not necessarily be aware they have or able to process those traits into actual jobs.
What are your thoughts on the college admissions scandal? How has it changed your thinking about your child’s future? Tell us in the comments below.