Do Politics Weigh into College Acceptance?

Anna Tabet - Reporter

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Seniors’ know the continual stress and anxiety that accompanies college applications all too well. One essay after another, repeatedly updating your resume, requesting transcripts; it’s a thorough, and quite honestly, terrifying process. Once you finally send in all your applications, there is no equivalent to the rush of relief and pure ease that washes over you. Until you realize that you have to spend the upcoming months in agony, tossing between complete certainty that you will get into your dream college, followed by questioning if you’ll even make it to graduation. Then the fateful day arrives. The day you find out if the college you’ve been imagining yourself at for months, sometimes years, will finally become a reality. For many, that reality never comes. And for many others, that reality dies for arguably unjust causes.

Every University faces the daunting task of admitting students into their specified schools. It is an understandably challenging and time consuming procedures that without a doubt will upset many applicants. While the admissions process is definitively difficult, certain university choose to weigh aspects of a students application that will benefit the college itself, over the criteria that truly details if the student is a proper fit within the University in question. It is wonderful if parents of a specific student decides to donate money to their alma mater, solely because of their love for the university itself. However, that monthly donation, or the family’s connection to a college, should not override that student’s application within the deliberation process, and it should most definitely not dismiss the diligent work ethic and record of a more deserving student. There is nothing wrong with encouraging legacies within a university or accepting generous donations from past students. There is wrongdoing, however, when those are the sole purposes that allow for debatably undeserving students to be accepted into a university.

It is obvious that the issue of politics within the admissions process is quite pertinent among Universities worldwide, even affecting Austin’s own University of Texas at Austin. In 2015, the college’s president, Bill Powers, was found guilty of admitting roughly 73 undergraduate students, due to their relation to alumni and lawmakers, despite their test scores and various other qualifications within their applications. Powers’ surprisingly defended his actions on many occasions stating that he did it for the “best interest, long-term interest, of the university” as well as claiming that “that some similar process exists at virtually every selective university in America”. The worst part about Power’s statements is that they’re not wrong. This case is one of hundreds, similar, if not exactly like it. There’s not much that we as students can do to prevent the inevitable corruption and unfairness in this world, seemingly a great of which is concentrated in Colleges. We can, however, understand that we are going to end up in the university that we are meant to be at. Having a dream college is fun, but developing new interests and relationships will occur no matter what university you end up at. The experience of college is one that comes once in a lifetime. There’s not enough time to be spent dwelling on what might have been.

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