A woman from a local state university was on television yesterday and I heard a bit of what she said; enough so that I have been considering the reality of it. Surely, the impact is greater for me this year, having a son applying to colleges as I write. Her message was quite simple. Her university has already received approximately 28,000 applications (it is only early September) for a school that has approximately 30,000 students in total. “We can be more selective with numbers like these,” she boasted. And then the question came, “Isn’t it so that due to the nation’s economy the state schools are inundated with applicants and therefore able to be more choosey in their selection?” Absolutely.
Well, then, what happens to the average student or even the less than average student? Or the student who in no shape or form can ever afford anything besides an in-state education? Some kids don’t really learn to learn until they are in college and faced with the reality that getting an education is real and useful. Some actually want to go to school and not just for the parties and because it is the next step beyond high school. Yet, they may have performed to a level that some of the universities are now able to reject and they are left floundering.
Have we also considered that not all states, mine included, do not set a definitive amount of in-state students that they will accept? They actually look to outside applicants who will pay more, leaving more of our in-state kids out in the cold. There are many students who at one time should have been accepted to the in-state school of their choice, but are being rejected in place of these out-of-staters.
Finally, as I complained to my daughter, a college junior at one of our states’ better colleges; she brought to my attention that not all the professors and teachers at these schools are equipped to teach the higher levels of students that are filling the classrooms. So now we are filling our state universities with students that in some cases may be smarter than their professors. Of course, that is if you define smart in the same way that the admissions committees do? That, of course, requires a whole new blog.