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March CPR Newsletter: Happy (Or Not) Ivy Day!

Hello Fellow Parent, and Welcome!

I know, I know, the news regarding college admissions is all over the place—FAFSA this and SAT that—leading everyone involved to the ledge of anxiety cliff. I’m devoting this newsletter to talking you (us all) down to safer ground as college notifications come in.

“Ivy Day” and emotions that accompany it…

All eight colleges in the Ivy (athletic) League announce their admission decisions on one day. This year, “Ivy Day” is today. Since these and other elite private colleges use the CSS Profile (yet another product of the College Board) to determine financial need, they can deliver financial aid award letters along with their admission decisions. The colleges that over 80% of students attend, which only require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine financial need, may have delays this year letting students know how much money college will actually cost them. As you know from my last newsletter, my blood boils over such inequities.

Nonetheless, if your child is among the hundreds of thousands who applied to one or more of them, your home will likely brim with emotion on Ivy Day. I’m sure you’ve heard it before that an admission decision by one of these eight Ivy League universities with single-digit acceptance rates is not a validation or retribution of anyone’s worth. Still, nerves will prickle until notifications arrive. You’ll feel proud of your kid if they’re admitted or disappointed for your kid who was denied admission. If you have a younger student, you’ll watch your friends’ chests puff up or deflate accordingly (no judgement—it’s an involuntary response), and you’ll probably have feelings about that.

Within the next week, you’ll see news headlines that so-and-so in whatever state was accepted to all eight Ivy League schools (as well as the other 112 colleges to which they applied), as if it’s a Medal of Honor. Some parents, blinded by their child’s admission to an Ivy League university, will forget (until the first bill comes) that the wonderful college where their child was admitted that they could actually afford was probably a better fit. (Yale, for example, has increased tuition room and board to over $90,000 this year.) That only eight colleges among the thousands of great ones cause this amount of hype still blows my mind, but your pride or disappointment for your child does not. I empathize because I’ve felt it too.

I want you to know that all feelings are okay. No shame about yours on Ivy Day or any day. Just remember that feelings are not facts. Our feelings are personal, sometimes manipulative, and sometimes lead us down a path we’d rather not follow. Please read College Admissions Cracked for oodles of antidotes.

The legacy preference conundrum…

Since questioning this age-old practice is one of the college admissions topics du jour, I offer you two relevant articles with contradictory opinions on the matter. Both were published in the Washington Post, and both make sense to me.

  1. Actually, legacy admissions are good. Here’s why.
  2. Universities should ditch this rotten legacy.

I invite you to come on over to our Chill Parents’ Revolution Facebook Group to discuss.

Sanity saver…

I was just in Chattanooga, TN, and while dining at this fabulous restaurant, my husband said, “This may be the best salad I’ve ever eaten.” Here’s a downloadable pdf for Alleia’s Grilled Romaine Recipe. You’re welcome.

In conclusion…

If you are in pain over Ivy Day or the role legacy plays in admission, please treat yourself to Alleia’s Grilled Romaine salad (or something more sugar intensive). And when your mind starts spiraling with anxiety, remember that feelings are not facts. Everything you hear about college admissions is not a fact either.

Warmly,

Jill

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