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Original Article:
Application Madness (spring 2004)


The College of Her Choice
August 2007

THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS process would have been well worth all the trouble if our daughter had ended up happy with her choice, but she wasn’t. She liked the professors at Connecticut College, and her classes were interesting, but a small college in a small New England town was far too provincial for a public school graduate from Los Angeles who had spent her summers studying art and languages in Paris and Madrid.

The admissions brochures she had gotten, and the campus tour with the charming student from Thailand, had made her think she would be living with students from around the world. Instead, she was assigned a dorm room next to a bunch of boisterous, inebriated New England party boys. Officials offered to move her to a quieter floor in another dorm. Instead she decided to move to another college altogether.

Given how onerous the admissions process is, it’s hard to imagine someone going through it voluntarily a second time. Yet one out of five college students do just that, either because they are homesick or don’t have enough money or want a more prestigious degree or become interested in a program that isn’t available where they are.

The second time around, our daughter did everything on her own. Without any help or even any encouragement from her parents, she filled out applications, arranged interviews and got test scores and recommendations sent. She did all of this as a full-time student and without any of her mother’s meddling. She was accepted at Brown University, and is about to begin her senior year there as an honors major in art.

Our other daughter is beginning her junior year at Northwestern. Her mother had nothing to do with her applications.

—Anne C. Roark

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