College is a one-time experience for every one of us. It is hard for anyone of us to trade those days for something else because these very days help us overcome the obstacles placed ahead of us. Apart from giving us the necessary education required to set us on the right path, it transforms us for all the better reasons. That is why college becomes a necessary part of life, but like every year the number of registrations increases so does the worry of the students.
Currently, globally, there are only a handfuls of Universities that are a class apart and are those that define education and excellence. These universities are naturally extremely popular and almost every student, that is eligible, wants to get in. These Universities do give students the right facilities, the proper kind of education, and exposure, pretty good placements, but above all, it assures students that the name of the University will land them somewhere, even if they are not as qualified, sometimes. They seal the deal for them, and no wonder there is so much fight to get in.
On paper, the world seems to be booming with opportunities. So many jobs that we see online and in newspapers seems like a utopia, but the reality is that almost every student is applying for every major university, working hard to get into at least one of these colleges. There is no such thing as an opportunity really, it’s just a matter of who has what these Universities are looking for. And in the past decade, this trend has created a kind of chaos for every student around the globe because now even the deserving candidates for these seats must sit out and wait or choose to go to a college, not of their preference. But the problem here is not just the fact that the seats are going to undeserving students, the situation is a bit more complex, both for the colleges and for the students. Here in this article of EduQuest, we have discussed all the relevant points about how admissions in abroad are getting more competitive.
1.Growing Competition & Disparity in education
Overpopulation seems to be at the root of this problem that seems to have no end. Every year, more and more students are passing out of school and most of the countries even today have been having trouble with their education system because of how weak, and hollow the education is. It is only after students compare what they have learned to the curriculum of the Universities they are applying to that they begin to realize that their schooling has failed them in some way, even if they have a high percentage, according to their schooling board.
And in the education system, a high percentage means more than we give it credit for, resulting in the admission of someone not as qualified or deserving as someone else with a slightly lower percentage. There is no common ground for education globally and this disparity creates a lot of problems. Universities give academics way too much weightage and a lot of times, because of this pressure a lot of students get overwhelmed, at times even the deserving one.
2. High standards of Universities
That, however, is not all. If the not-so-clever system were not enough already to torment the students, the Universities would like to add to the problems with their high demands, and requirements from the students. While there are more and more registrations being reported by the most prestigious Universities, the student acceptance rate shows a massive decline in numbers. And this disparity only seems to be getting wider and wider with not many possible solutions.
In 2020, Yale University had an acceptance rate of only 6.3%. In layman’s terms, if 1000 students applied to it, only 63 of them got selected. The rest, nothing but rejected candidates for the Universities. Even NYU’s acceptance rate dropped to the lowest ever seen in 16 years. And in such a time when students have a dire need to continue their education, even keeping aside the trauma of the pandemic, Universities are filtering students with such a brutal process.
The Universities, however, also have a standard to live by. A name and a legacy that should be maintained, for a rich legacyand an excellent track record means a high demand amongst students which is, obviously, utterly beneficial to the Universities. For example, Harvard had close to 50,000 registrations, but the acceptance rate of the University did not increase but took a downhill, on the contrary, with an acceptance rate of about 4-5%, meaning only 2000-2500 students out of a total of 50000 students who registered were lucky enough to be accepted by the prestigious University upholding its standard, and reputation of only having the best.
3. Lack of proper counselling
While all these problems are big on their own, there is one major issue which, if dealt properly, can bring about a major change on the way students go to these Universities. Students, when applying for higher education, are mostly clueless about what they want to do or are willing to do. As a result, mindlessly, these students keep filling out forms for all the universities where they have a chance, even if they have the aptitude of the subject they have applied for or not. This irresponsible attitude towards determining one’s career can hamper the growth of any student as they do not have the proper guidance from the school counselor or even from parents about their professional career. Students preparing for the SAT exam can opt for SAT coaching in Hyderabad for a proper guidance and counselling.
To simplify, if a student interested in photography applies to Harvard, it’s a waste of time and space for everyone. Any academic subject would not do justice to him, but being unaware of the prospects in photography, there are not many other options the students have either. Naturally, it becomes the job of the parents to provide their sons and daughters with the best counseling possible so that all their questions are answered, and their queries dealt with. This would also enable the students into realizing their potential and understanding that the whole competition about getting into colleges is more hyped than it should be. While all these colleges are excellent and hold the standards of education very high, it should also be noted that they aren’t worth the stress and resources if, ultimately, it turns out to be not so useful to the students themselves.
The need of the hour is for the Universities to realize and accept the competition in the world and increase the number of seats and keep their acceptance rates higher than they are, or provide the students with more options of courses, so that, there is a diversity and not just students with high academic records are selected. A low acceptance rate not just reflects badly on the students, but even raises suspicion from the authority about the fairness of the procedure. Something similar happened to UCLA when its acceptance rate hit a record-low after having a terrible number for the whole decade due to many registrations and not enough seats to even satisfy 10% of the applicants.
Students also need to let go of the obsession surrounding the Universities and dwell more on what it is they want to pursue in their career before they register so the right and deserving ones get the admissions. Academic courses may be the talk of the town currently, but a new alternative in education has also given a chance to wider range of students in recent times showing the flow of students in vocational courses or short-term/diploma courses that give them an insight into the world they are about to enter and a fair amount of knowledge to compete in the world without any hesitation. Many other skill-based courses aim to make students comfortable not just with theory but with the practical application of the subject that is, without a doubt, necessary for the future. But all this is only possible if the perspectives of both the students, and their parents are broad enough because, at the end of the day, academics are only a part of life.