Originally Posted by 22B
I'll add a couple of questions. Do you do anything about this (i.e. try to build an "EC resume") or do you just ignore the whole thing and see where your kid gets accepted? (And be happy not to go to a place that rejects your kid for the wrong reasons.)

Also, can anyone explicitly name which universities put weight on ECs at the expense of academics?

Oh, and since we're in the thick of this right now, (the college shopping extravaganza, I mean) given that DD is a rising HS senior, I should have answered the first part of the post.

A. I refuse to participate in this toxic arms race. I have more principles than that, and I do not wish to signal to my child that a limitless variety of means are justified by some end which is largely of mythical importance anyway. This is what I would call-- The Moral/Ethical High Ground. These children are being actively coached to OPT OUT of the elite college machine. NO WAY would their parents send them to an Ivy, even if they wanted to go. shocked

B) Children must be prodded, coaxed, and bribed into the right choices. When that doesn't work, do whatever is necessary to demonstrate participation and move on to another activity that looks... er... elite. Sure, he doesn't love Chess, but he needs to learn that we all do things that we're good at. Save love for your grandma.
All the other parents are helping their kids get {competitive opportunity/award/etc}, so it's not like he's got much of a chance if I don't do his science fair project. I'm sure not going to feel guilty about helping MY kid get ahead of everyone else's kids... if they want their kids to get ahead, they need to be doing it, too. whistle

C) I'm going to click my heels together three times and hope that this goes away. FAR away. On the other hand, every time I open one eye even a teensy slit, I find that college tuition has jumped another 5%. Maybe I should help. All the other parents seem to be doing it. Gosh, what if allowing her all those hours in girl scouts/dogging/reading/playing in the mud/babysitting was WRONG?? Oh no... sure, she liked it. But maybe we should have pushed her harder in fencing, cryptography and water polo. She liked those things too. We should probably have been more ruthless and forced her to spend her summers working at a volunteer job rather than visiting my mom and her cousins in the country. Aughhhh... I hope she knows that we just wanted her to be happy and enjoy her childhood. What if she wants to go to Snooty University and we BLEW it?? eek

D) I know that he'll get into a great school... because I've made sure of it. But what then?? What if he hates it?? He certainly seems to have resented the process of getting his resume into that condition. He'd never practice at all if we didn't tie him to the sofa. I hope he can handle the pressure year after next. He doesn't seem very happy, though. Hopefully Elite College will be better for him. We've done it all for him, after all. I'm sure he knows we only wanted the best for him. eek


We fall most near C-- like most parents these days, save the ones we avoid (the B and D types). I completely understand the motives of the A parents, though. Boy, do I ever.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.