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Wait Listed for College--A Growing Phenomenon

Original post made by Paul Losch, Community Center, on May 11, 2008

My daughter Adrienne will be attending a very fine college starting next fall. As of now, I don't know which one, due to the wait list situation she is in. Hers is a case study in something that appears to be an increasingly significant layer of the challenging college application process.

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Comments (2)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2008 at 10:41 am

There are a lot of good arguments in this post.

On top of that, I would like to add the fact that Palo Alto students are competing against each other for the spaces at top colleges. There is the fact that instead of a student applying for maybe 7 colleges at most, many students are applying to upwards of 15 - 20. This follows that the excellent students are getting multiple offers, while the very good students are getting very few offers. It is not only very easy to apply to so many colleges, but for PA students, the cost of the application is not a factor in keeping the applications to a lower number. This means that once again, a very good but not excellent student is getting overlooked and the irony is that if they went to a school outside PA, then with their scores and grades, they would get a place in a very good school with ease.

It seems logical now to see just how many students nowadays are going to Foothill for two years and then transferring in to their first choice college with ease. This puts them in the luxury of getting more acceptances and also graduating out of their college of choice. Who can blame them? It seems to me that this for many is the way to go.

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Posted by PA Dad
a resident of College Terrace
on May 11, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Paul -- pity the typical British student, then, who takes 'A levels' in his or her senior year and only hears the results in August. University offers are conditional upon those results. So you don't know where you will be attending until a month or so before you go!

I'm not sure how it is today, but it used to be that you were only allowed to apply to five universities in total -- you picked a couple of stretches and a couple of fall backs and hoped you got a spread of offers from them all. You'd know what scores you need to achieve to enter each of them by March or so, but you need to take your finals in May/June and then wait all summer to know your future.

And imagine the stress levels come the one day in August when all the test results are released at the same time nationwide. It's no fun -- but it does guarantee that you work your heart out your final year. Here, it seems to me, students ease off their work in their final year, which isn't exactly setting them up to thrive in (what you hope would be) the more rigorous college environment.

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