The Damage is Done

It made me think of a student I had, as sincere as any I have worked with, who would spend hours working at an animal shelter each week, walking the dogs, cleaning their cages, feeding them.  She told me she had loved animals since she was a little girl.  I asked if she did the volunteer work because she loved doing it or because she felt it was important for college applications.  There was a moment of silence, a sad look and a mournful “I really don’t know”.  It was one of the saddest moments in my 35 year career. This poor kid was robbed of the pleasure and pride of doing what she loved because of the nagging insincerity of “College”.  Our college admissions process is breeding a generation of self-involved and self-aggrandizing children for whom ennui becomes the defining characteristic of their adulthood.

Author: Scott White

I am a nationally recognized expert on college admissions, having worked in schools and colleges for 35 years. I have been regularly quoted in major publications including the NY Times, the LA Times, The Boston Globe, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Time Magazine and others. I am widely published on various aspects of the college admissions process and present at state and national conferences on a variety of college admissions related topics. I have worked in college admissions as well as independent day and boarding schools. The last 25 years I have worked in public schools, 14 as a school counselor and then as a Director of Guidance at elite, suburban public schools including Montclair High School, Westfield High School and Morristown High School. I am now an independent college counselor for SW College Consulting in Montclair. I can be contacted as or 973-919-6798.

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