Frames of Reference: It helps to keep in mind that the admissions process involves different frames of reference. There is the student’s frame of reference, the parent’s frame of reference, the high school’s frame of reference, and, of course, the frame of reference of each college to which the student applies.
Keep in mind that no two colleges will have identical applicant groups in a given year. Each will, therefore, review applications in the context of its respective applicant group, which by the way will invariably include many other well-qualified applicants. Furthermore, freshman class size differs from one college to another. In other words, there will be some factors affecting a college’s decision on your application over which you have absolutely no control and for which you should not feel responsible.
A Complex Matter: College admissions is a complex and complicated matter — as much for college admission officers as for aspiring applicants. And in more respects than you can now appreciate, it is complex and complicated because applicants, taken as a group, want it to be that way. Think about it: you could easily derive, based on your own preferences, a simple formula for (more…)