I have been knee deep in essays and applications. I have a goal to write at least one blog post a month and I knew the clock was ticking to get a post in before the end of September but I was lacking direction (and time!).
I was at a function this week with parents of eleventh and twelfth graders and the chatter about college applications wove its way through many conversations. I drove home with a friend who has a senior and she commented on the stress that many parents expressed. I told her that people should not be stressed about admissions, they should be more stressed about their students graduating. I cited a piece that I wrote on my blog from another admissions season, What You Should Really Be Anxious About. And voilá, I had the inspiration for my September piece. If you have a senior, I hope this excerpt reduces your stress levels and facilitates some important conversations. Enjoy!
Admission is only the first step in a long journey. While students wait, they should think about how they are going to maximize their experience over the next four years. Did you know that the high school class of 2010 had a 60% graduation rate over a six-year period? Think about that for a minute. Only six out of ten students had graduated in SIX YEARS! Meanwhile, The Colleges That Change Lives have an average acceptance rate of 66% and more than half of the colleges in this country accept more than half of the students that apply.
So why are people worried about admissions when they should really be concerned about making progress towards graduation? High school students that complete a thoughtful college search and create a realistic list should not be stressed about admissions. The numbers say that a student is likely to be admitted to a college but they are much less likely to complete their degree in a timely fashion, if at all and THAT is where the real anxiety should be focused; what happens when they get to college and how do they graduate on time.
(Picture is from the dorm room of my favorite college sophomore. I REALLY have no time right now.)