The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Competitiveness in College Admissions: What Has It Led to?


In the past year, there have been many college admission scandals. The biggest being the University of Southern California cheating scandal including famous actress Lori Loughlin. Behind these is the fact that because colleges are receiving more applicants than ever before, it has become much more difficult for students to get into the college they, or their parents, want them to get into.

College admission cheating can be anything from doctoring a student’s standardized test score to bribing coaches with over a million dollars to say that a girl who doesn’t play sports is a soccer superstar. There have been dozens of college admission scandals like these, all varying in grandeur, leading one to wonder why all of these scandals have occurred. Parents just wanting to set their children on a certain path is one of the explanations for the extents some parents have gone to to get their children into college.

Many people believe there are many different causes, but college counselor Pamela Joos says the biggest cause for these college admission scandals is that “families believe that unless you go to a certain college or university, you won’t be put on the right path for life.”  They believe that you can only be successful if you go to a certain college, but that is not the case according to Joos.

The college admissions process has changed so much from the past to today. One of the main changes has been that nowadays during college admissions, many students are applying to over 20 schools because they have the mindset of “the more colleges I apply to, the higher chance I have to get into one,” says college freshman Alexandra Tomkin. According to Business Insider, more students applying to college has made it more difficult to be accepted into different schools, but many students are accustomed to it. Since it is more difficult to get into schools, students have the need to apply to multiple schools.

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When most parents of current high school students were applying to colleges, it was much easier to get into schools because fewer people were actually applying, making it less competitive. When parents, who went to some of the best schools in America, are now going through the college admissions process with their children, they believe that their children won’t be successful unless they go to a school similar to the one that they went to. Parents would also only apply to three or four schools because it was not nearly as competitive.

Today, there are schools like Stanford who, according to the Washington Post, accept only 4.7 percent of students that apply, and most of the students who are rejected still have perfect SAT or ACT scores and perfect GPAs.  This just shows how you can only do so much to have the chance to get into a top school like Stanford.

With stats like Stanford’s acceptance rates, it is no wonder people have gone to such lengths to get themselves or their children accepted into top schools. The most common methods used have been bribes to employees of athletic departments to say a student was a sports star. Recently, light has been shed on these scandals, of which there have been too many to count. These types of scandals are not something that has recently started to occur but have only recently been exposed.

Having one person get in unfairly may not seem like such a big deal, but according to current high school junior Tashi Bucknall, that is not the case. When Bucknall commented on the recent scandals he said, “the college admissions process has been the most stressful part of high school so far, so when you hear about these people who do absolutely nothing to get into one of the best schools in the country, it really sucks.” Bucknall’s comments shed light on the stress and work that comes with applying to college, and that it is completely unacceptable for these people to cheat themselves into college.

Many high schoolers are in the college admission process right now, but hopefully, they will be lucky enough to get into their top schools, without paying millions of dollars.  

By Jonas Tomkin

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