There was a nice piece by Derek Thompson in “The Atlantic” yesterday that focuses on the college rankings. He argues that parents and students who consult the college rankings already demonstrate that they care about college, distinguishing themselves from a certain percentage of the country. He even uses a nice little pie chart to show that of 21 year-olds in 2009, 60% weren’t in college, 20% didn’t graduate from high school, and only 1% attended elite universities.
We don’t disagree that students and parents who consult the rankings or who even express an interest in attending an elite school already distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. We do question some of the statistics Mr. Thompson uses in his pie chart, though. For instance, we happen to know quite a few 21 year-olds who aren’t in college because…they already graduated from college! How do the statistics take this fact into account?
But, anyway, the main point of Mr. Thompson’s article is a good one. He says, “The true crisis in college admissions isn’t overly motivated parents or even analytical rankings of elite schools. It’s too little motivation among parents and students combined with insufficient information.” We happen to strongly agree.
The college rankings aren’t the problem in this country. Overly ambitious parents and students aren’t the problem. That should be the least of our worries. The problem is a lack of motivation and insufficient motivation. Parents and students who approach The Ivy Coach don’t typically have a lack of motivation. But they do often have insufficient or even erroneous information and that’s where we come in to help!