Brennan Barnard, one of the authors of the piece about unfair admissions, is back with some truths about the process — all collected from college admissions deans themselves. Barnard is the college admission program manager at the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of college counseling at the private Derryfield School in New Hampshire.
Here’s what admissions deans told Barnard. While some of the advice may not be new to those who have already been through the admissions process, millions of families haven’t, and it’s important to go in knowing what’s true.
Over the past year, college admission has been riddled with mistrust. We have watched as families fixate on commercial college rankings — as if they were reliable indicators of quality — while erroneously tying admission selectivity to success in college and life. Some parents have tried to buy their children’s way into college, and others have even forfeited guardianship of their offspring to cheat the financial aid system.
But the truth is, there is no silver bullet to a college acceptance, no one secret to being admitted to a highly selective college, no guarantee. Anyone who tells you differently is likely looking to profit from your anxiety.
While the media has recently focused on reporting the extreme and unhealthy examples of parents trying to get their children into top colleges, that’s not what most families try to do.