News Ticker

College Admission Standards

by Kristina Howell, Copy Editor

College admissions standards have gone up greatly in recent years, creating a large gap between the standards for our applications and those of years past. Many students feel like college standards for SAT scores and GPA’s are too high to reach, so they stop bothering to try and only apply where they know they’ll have a shot.
Even all of the flattering emails students get from recruiting schools are driven from a desire to increase applicants and therefore make them seem more selective by driving down their acceptance rate.
In fact, according to the New York Times, many of the better schools only accept the top 5 percent from the high schools around the world, and with more and more AP classes, that number is starting to seem unattainable, too.
There’s also the issue of weighted and unweighted grades and which colleges accept which, and who actually counts AP courses as college credit so a student doesn’t have to retake a course they already passed.
There’s also really no safety after a senior is already accepted, as many schools reserve the right to revoke their acceptance if a student can’t keep up with their academic standards, despite the rigorous activities and stress that often accompany their last year in high school.
It’s not all the fault of the colleges. With high school senior numbers rising a little more every year, many have to adjust their standards so that there’s room for their most deserving applicants. They only want the best, which is understandable, but many students still struggle to get there.
Stanford’s average SAT score, for example, is a 2310, according to their most recent admissions statistics, while a lot of junior colleges don’t even require their students to have an SAT score. There’s certainly nothing wrong with those schools, as they offer a chance to stay close to home, learn a little more, and save a lot of money, but many kids will only apply there because they see it as easier than trying to swing a big application and missing.
The chief issue with the increasingly competitive college world is that it discourages a lot of bright people because they feel like they’ll be rejected before they have a chance to foster their growth and further their learning, so they stop trying. Rather than deal with the stress of a rigorous application process and then desperately await those words, “Congratulations. You’ve been accepted,” they forgo the whole thing and decide it’s better to be safe. This stops a lot of bright people from being in the optimal place to further their learning, and the world misses out on a lot of what could have been.