When U Chicago stops sending mailers to kids with a 3.2 GPA, and when Wash U quits inundating my cat (yes I signed him up on the mailing list as an experiment) with hundreds of marketing documents, then I’ll believe that the colleges really want to tone down the frenzy.
When they say things like, we now want kids with more community service– that only adds to the frenzy. ARG!
I applaud colleges for recognizing the problems they create in how they handle admissions, and I think this plan is well-intentioned. But paying less attention to standardized tests and AP courses seems mis-guided. Colleges still need ways to see who the top academic achievers and truly motivated learners are, and they have to have some objective academic criteria.
Here is my advice, and it’s such good advice. It’s what I’ve always said. Colleges want authentic kids. Engage authentically in your life– at school, at home, at work. Challenge yourself academically for the right reasons. Allow yourself truly to love learning, and then go learn about what you love. Don’t read this article and get all crazy. Don’t worry about college admissions. Live your best life (I sound like Oprah.) But it works. This philosophy helps kids mature and grow emotionally in high school as intended. As a great fringe benefit– it also makes them more successful as college applicants.