"Student Accepted to All Eight Ivy League Schools!"

I appreciate all high school students who dream big and get accepted to great schools. This is the time of year, though, where headlines frequently tout students who are accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. I have a problem with this.

When I applied to colleges, way back in 2008, I weighed the reasons for applying to every college I chose. Each had different strengths and weaknesses, but I made sure that they would fit my interests, goals and preferences in one way or another. One school I applied to mostly for practice, since the application was free, but even there I thought there was a good chance I would consider going. I applied to eight schools total, and any more probably would have been a little ridiculous. Even using the Common Application, every extra school you choose to will require extra time, effort, and money to apply.

That's where I am unable to understand students who apply to all eight Ivy League schools. The Ivy League is a league in name only when it comes to everything other than sports. Any discerning college applicant should realize that there will only be a few (if any) of the Ivy League schools that will match their individual goals and interests. Even if someone's primary interest in college is athletics, who would apply to all of the schools in a league?

I can only conclude that a student who applies to all eight Ivy League schools must only do so for the chance of notoriety. I’m sure that those who are accepted to all the schools (or any of them!) are highly accomplished individuals and high school students. They deserve recognition for those accomplishments. However, acceptance into all the Ivy League schools indicates that they are also seeking attention, and I think the media would do well to stop giving them so much.

Parents and educators need to encourage students to make smart choices when applying to college. That means doing substantial research before applying, selecting a limited number of schools that match a student's goals and preferences, and then following through with putting great effort into applying for those schools.

Here's an image I created that encapsulates my thoughts on this issue:


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