The corpse of the college resume is reeking: when will we bury it?

Bridget Frame

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Like most people, I am outraged by the recent “Varsity Blues” scandal in which wealthy parents were caught bribing their children into top colleges, falsifying test scores and allowing their children to have extensive, unneeded test accommodations. What the parents did was wrong, point blank. But colleges should take a look at how its processes are causing these actions.

Universities pride themselves on taking interest in who students are, or rather, what the student projects. I cannot count how many times I have been told to join more clubs, volunteer more or expand my academic classes. Students are encouraged to take multiple AP classes to show rigor and to join as many clubs as possible. Many boast about how they were apart of ten clubs and had a job and still managed to ace their AP exams. Why are students expected to juggle so much while still dealing with the ups and downs of teenage life? Colleges expect us to be well-rounded individuals with a full resume at age 18. It’s incredibly infuriating to be expected to do these things, especially when you and your family don’t have the means to do them.

Lori Loughlin exits the courthouse where her Varsity Blues college cheating scandal trial was held. Credit: Fernando Castillo

Lori Loughlin is smiling in front of the courthouse, signing autographs, while teens are staying up late studying to meet an astronomical GPA expected by colleges. High school students are held to much higher standards than students were in years past. Colleges aren’t unaware of this. The college prep business is a million dollar industry. Parents and students pay for classes to prep for the exam, prep materials, test materials and the test itself. Don’t forget about application fees as well. Money has overtaken true motivations, so it’s no surprise money can get undeserving kids in college. Colleges turn away well-rounded deserving kids over a test score, or the lack of certain programs. It is impossible to expect so much from teenagers, already having to juggle so much in their own lives.

But now it’s time for colleges to redeem themselves. Take a more holistic approach to applications. Reconsider your standards and understand that not every kid can have a perfect grade point average or standardized test scores. When this is applied, hopefully then we won’t have this situation again. Then, students will be accepted because of their value as a person, rather than by their parent’s net worth.