We heard back from Boston College and Notre Dame. Boston College received a record-breaking 28,000 applications (at $70.00 per app) for fall 2007. They accepted 2,250 students. Johannah wasn't one of them. Yet, her ACT score, high honors student GPA, and extra curricular activities which included six years of acting in a Shakespeare Company earned her an academic scholarship and membership in the Honor's Program at The Ohio State University. All that - not good enough for BC. Notre Dame also declined her app.
One of my current students earned a 1550 on the SAT. He's one of the best writers I've ever taught. He's earned A's in all his core subjects. His app was declined by Harvard and Georgetown. Instead, he's taking the full ride scholarship to University of Cincinnati where his academic achievements are not only noticed but honored!
Do you ever wonder how you got into college after you hear stuff like this? Back when I went to UCLA, I had a high GPA and low SAT. My roommate didn't even crack a 3.0 when she was accepted. Today, UCLA is one of the most demanding admissions of state schools in the country. 4.0's are a given.
We're thrilled for Johannah, of course. She's going to love OSU - the size, the collegiate feel, the spirit, the diversity in the student body, the variety of courses. I love that she's an honor's student there, not just barely admitted.
But I can't help but wonder if the current admissions climate and academic achievement requirements are just a bit out of control! Notre Dame revealed that its middle fifty percent of incoming freshmen in 2006 earned between 31-33 on the ACT. I know that there are many, many other colleges that don't require such high standards. Still, I'm pretty amazed at how competitive it's all become.
More, it seems that kids are being driven to perform at increasingly high levels and are forced to take many more AP courses and core classes with a deeper anxiety about how they mesaure up against the competition than we ever confronted. I can't imagine that's healthy.... What do you think?