Jordanna Suriani is an admissions counselor at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She wrote this commentary for The New York Times – The Choice column.
School’s almost out for summer, and anyone who works in college admissions and high school guidance offices, or who knows a soon-to-be-high school senior, understands what that means: the season of college visits is upon us.
The average student will apply to more than nine schools this fall, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling. In an age where students can not only visit schools almost every day, but can also access limitless information and virtual tours from home or their cellphones, this figure seems much too high to those of us working in higher education. To us, visiting and researching colleges helps students find schools that fit their needs — academically, financially and socially.
Applying to nine or more schools is indicative of a larger issue in which students apply to as many schools as they feel some kind of connection to (or that Mom and Dad feel a connection to), and deal with that small detail called “fit” later on.
The problem with this approach is that it hurts students and colleges in the same breath, and is beginning to perpetuate some bothersome trends for both parties. As an admissions counselor at a mid-sized, public liberal arts college, I cannot tell you how many times I speak with admitted students in April — just days before the national May 1st acceptance deadline — and hear them say they are torn between my institution and a 50,000 student research university located across the country.
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from The New York Times, written by Jordanna Suriani