On my last blog, I vented quite a bit about the competitiveness of college admissions for the University of California system. This week, I would like to take the subject of college in a bit of a different direction. The question, “Is a college education really worth the time, money and effort?”
All of my life I have been told that I need to study hard to get into a good college so that I can have a career that I can support myself with. It has been hammered into my head so long and I never questioned it. Year after year I toil, AP and Honors classes since I was a freshman. I even got a head start on Spanish and math in middle school, taking high school geometry and Spanish I. Now I am taking college classes in high school to get ahead in college.
Photo @ 2010 by Sean MacEntee [CC by 2.0]
College admission has become ridiculously competitive. High school students are going to greater lengths to out-do their competition. In my parents generation it was enough just to get good grades. Now, not only do we need 4.0+ GPA’s, we need to stand out in ways that seem unnatural for most high school students.
Even if a student manages to do it all and then-some, he may not get into the school he desires. For example, my brother, last year, was ranked #1 in his senior class, was a leader in FVRR, took part in math competitions, was part of numerous clubs, volunteered many hours, started a volunteer musical performance group, had a super-high SAT score, was a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and even conducted original research at a local university. He applied to Stanford and was flat out rejected. Anyone would think, “If he didn’t get in, why should I even try?”
Photo @2010 by Sean MacEntee [CC BY 2.0]