Jeremy is a high school senior with excellent standardized test scores, glowing recommendations from his teachers, and a passion for writing. However, he faces an uphill battle against the increasingly flawed and inequitable college admissions process. In his essay, Jeremy argues that the admissions process is failing students and their families, particularly those who are underrepresented or come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Background on Jeremy
Jeremy grew up in a middle-class family and attended a public high school where he excelled academically. Despite his successes, he became increasingly disillusioned with the college admissions process after watching his older sister struggle to gain acceptance to her top-choice schools. She had excellent grades and extracurricular activities, but lacked the financial resources to attend a private college or university. Jeremy saw how the process discriminated against students like his sister, who were qualified but lacked the resources to compete with applicants from wealthier families.
The Impact of the Admissions Process on Student Mental Health
Jeremy argues that the admissions process takes an immense toll on the mental health of students, particularly high school seniors. The process instills a fear of failure and a constant sense of competition that can lead to anxiety and depression. The trend towards applying to more and more schools only exacerbates this issue. Students spend countless hours writing essays, filling out forms, and studying for standardized tests, all while trying to maintain a rigorous academic schedule. This pressure can be overwhelming, and is often compounded by the financial burden of college tuition and other expenses.
The Admissions Process Disadvantages Underrepresented and Disadvantaged Students
Jeremy’s essay also critiques the admissions process for its bias against underrepresented and disadvantaged students. Wealthy students have access to resources not available to those from lower-income families, such as SAT prep courses, private tutors, and academic enrichment programs. These students also have a wider range of extracurricular opportunities, as they can afford to participate in costly sports or art programs. By contrast, students from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds may lack these resources or opportunities, and yet are held to the same admission standards. This exacerbates the gap between the rich and poor, making it difficult for talented and deserving students to gain admission to top colleges and universities.
The Gap Between Higher Education Values and Practices
Finally, Jeremy’s essay highlights the gap between the supposed values of higher education institutions and the true practices of the admissions process. Colleges and universities tout their commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusivity, but the admissions process tells a different story. The process is often opaque, with colleges and universities relying on algorithms and complex formulas to determine admission. This can lead to debate over the criteria being used, which can further erode confidence in the process.
- The college admissions process can have a detrimental effect on student mental health, particularly for students from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Wealthy students have a distinct advantage in the admissions process, due to access to a wider range of resources and opportunities.
- The process often does not align with the supposed values of higher education institutions, highlighting a potential gap between the two.
Jeremy’s essay serves as an important critique of the college admissions process, highlighting the ways in which it can systemically disadvantage those who lack resources or opportunities. As students, families, and higher education institutions grapple with the complexities of the admissions process, it is important to keep these critiques in mind and to work towards a more equitable future for all.
What can be done to address the issues highlighted by Jeremy’s essay?
There are a number of potential solutions that could address the inequalities in the college admissions process. One option is to increase transparency and clarity in the admissions criteria, so that students have a better understanding of what they need to do to gain admission. Another option is to provide more support and resources for underrepresented or disadvantaged students, such as access to tutoring, mentorship programs, and scholarship opportunities. Finally, some have argued for a move towards a more holistic admissions approach, one that takes into account a wider range of factors beyond just grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities.
Are there any limitations to Jeremy’s critique?
Like any critique, there may be limitations to Jeremy’s arguments. He is one student with a particular set of experiences and perspectives, and it is important to consider a range of voices when examining the issues with the admissions process. Additionally, some may argue that the competitive nature of the admissions process is necessary, as it encourages students to strive for excellence and pushes higher education institutions to maintain high standards. Ultimately, addressing the issues with the admissions process will require a nuanced and comprehensive approach that takes into account multiple perspectives and potential solutions.