Turning the Tide on College Admission

Starting today you will be hearing about an initiative called:”Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good Through College Admissions.” Through this initiative, some colleges and high schools are advocating for a sea change in the college admission process. Specifically, it calls for less stress through a diminished importance placed on honors courses, AP courses, and test scores. Further, it calls for increased significance of community involvement and good citizenship.

At Chyten, we have always advocated for meaningful community activities and engagement as part of an overall plan to develop well-rounded students who dedicate themselves to the greater good of humanity. We have informed families that a “vacation week trip to Belize” does not constitute meaningful community service. We have said that community “experience” is more important than community “service,” the difference being that the former involves real engagement with a particular community.

Chyten has also advocated for taking challenging, interesting courses – not just because they look good on a resume, but because they are interesting and may light a spark that will eventually lead to a rewarding career.

In private off-the-record discussions with admission departments, we have learned that this initiative is more a shift in attitude than in procedure. Some things will certainly change, such as essays that ask students to describe a community service experience, or to describe a time when they have helped others. Chyten is already adjusting with new college admission strategies – because the competitive nature of college admission will never change, and the best candidates will still earn the best spots at top-choice colleges. For more information, please call Neil Chyten at 617-559-9931.