For high school seniors headed to college in the fall, May 1 is known as National College Decision Day, when students are expected to choose the college they will attend. At Bosque, we are proud to announce that our seniors have had multiple offers and have made their final decisions. With an average of six applications per senior this year, the Class of 2019 were admitted to 129 different colleges and universities and they have chosen to matriculate to 40 colleges and universities. Bosque’s College Counseling Office guides students in their school choices and applications; the final decision is always focused on finding the college that best meets a student’s academic, economic, geographic, and social goals. As an administrator, I’ve been blown away by the colleges and programs to which our seniors have received offers. They have worked very hard to get to this place.
As yesterday was “Decision Day,” we are proud to share that our students have earned their way into the following colleges (see graphic to the right).
In related news, the scandal involving a college admissions consultant, university coaches and athletic directors, celebrities, and millions of dollars in bribes has been dominating the news lately. The stories, if proven, are strikingly callous, cynical, and ultimately damaging to the entire enterprise of education.
College offers the opportunity—before the responsibilities of adulthood set in—for young adults to explore their interests, to deepen their understanding of the world, and to find their place in it. Before worrying about getting a good job or figuring out how to raise a family, college life provides a pause to reflect and to test ideas against those of others and to discover new areas of interest. The college experience gives young adults the chance to reflect on who they are and how they might contribute to the various fields a college education opens up to them.
It also provides the time and space to tackle obstacles, thereby developing resilience and self-confidence. The students whose parents allegedly bribed their way into colleges will very likely question their own abilities for a long time, making them less resilient than they would have been—had they succeeded in gaining their place in college or overcoming the failure to do so, on their own; what a sad way to begin one’s young adult life.
The administrators and parents allegedly involved in the scandal have done more than deprive their children of an important opportunity or life lesson, as unfortunate as that is; they have also done significant harm to all the hard-working, deserving students—rich or poor—who might have gained admission through their efforts or had been rejected despite having better credentials than those who cheated their way to the top. The reputation of the schools will suffer, certainly. (And it begs the question, “How did the schools not know that this was happening?”) However, all of the students at those institutions will also suffer from a heightened skepticism about the validity of their admission to those colleges. What’s more, that skepticism will erode the enormous satisfaction they may have gained by earning admission based on their own hard work and achievements.
It is not news that people with financial resources can give their children more opportunities such as test-preparation classes, tutors, access to elite sports clubs and coaches, among others. Nor is it news that some people feel that the rules don’t apply to them. What heartens me as an educator is the fact that at Bosque School, like many other schools, we work hard to strengthen our students’ ability to navigate the challenges that life throws their way with confidence and integrity. At Bosque, we see education as a means of gaining not only knowledge and insight about the world, but also a chance to build resilience, integrity, and confidence in our students. We would do our students—and our community—a serious disservice if we were to graduate smart but dishonest and fragile young adults. There is something to be said for the self-confidence born of hard work and steadfastness in the face of obstacles; truly there is no shortcut to developing confidence in one’s ability to work through life’s challenges. That is the lesson that the people involved in this scandal seem to have forgotten; it is a lesson that Bosque students know by heart.