Increased competition in the college admissions process

Rachel Kogan, Opinions Editor

Work hard, get results.  No, this is not an advertisement for a fitness club.  It is the mantra of many as they go through the college admissions process.  You work hard, so it is only fair for you to get results.  However, this has not been the case as many highly qualified students are rejected from elite colleges for reasons other than their academic achievements or college essays.

Schreiber is privileged to have Naviance as a tool to give students an estimate of their standings and qualifications for the colleges of their choice.  The statistics on the website are meant to motivate students to achieve these goals.  Unfortunately, there are many students  who, according to the website, have the necessary scores and grades to be accepted into the college but in reality, are not.

Of course, scores are not everything.  The college essay plays a role in college decisions.  The essay is meant to give colleges a sense of your story and what makes a student an individual.  The major college essay and specific supplements provide an additional dimension to students that could not be seen from test scores and grades alone.  This part of the college acceptance is commendable as it enables students who may be struggling academically, whether due to financial, social, or other circumstances, to elaborate on their struggles.

According to Richard Sanders in the Wall Street Journal, “at selective schools, more than 80% of blacks, and two-thirds of Hispanics, have received at least moderately large admissions preferences, according to our analysis of admissions data from several dozen selective schools—that is the equivalent of at least a 100-point SAT boost, and often much more.”  Sanders, a legal journalist and author, conducted the study for the University of Denver Law Review.

While it is important to ensure that there is not discrimination against minorities within our education system, we also need to make sure that there is not any reverse discrimination.  Although it is important for colleges to take into account the hardships or inequality that an individual has faced, they cannot assume that minority students are the only ones who face these types of challenges.

This is a balance that is difficult to achieve, but one that is essential to ensuring the integrity of our school systems.

Accepting students based on their personality and on what they can contribute to the campus can help colleges in fostering a diverse and interesting community.  However, many colleges have instituted a policy of affirmative action that bases college acceptance on the applicant’s race, sex, or region of living.

Unless these attributes are essential part of your personality, it seems illogical for colleges to take these features into consideration to determine whether or not you would be a good contribution to the campus.

“Colleges should not focus only on the academic accomplishments of students,” said junior Akari Shimura. “People should be accepted based on what they have done to prove that they should be accepted.”