I found the recent article, “Last minute college app tips,” quite troubling (B1, Nov. 5)). While I think some of the ideas presented in this column are meant to be sarcastic, there is no byline to indicate anything to that effect, so it’s not obvious.
I’m concerned about how they could be interpreted by the broader public. For example, “You want to go to Yale? COVID-19 be damned. Hop on a plane and take a tour. You may even earn bonus points for the increased risk.” While the author later indicates there are easier ways to demonstrate interest in a college, there are others who may think such travel is encouraged (even if it jeopardizes one’s health) and will be rewarded — which is not the case.
The article goes on, explicitly telling readers to “bend the truth” about their achievements; but, doing so can jeopardize students’ admission! College admissions isn’t a “game” and the unethical behavior you advocate can have serious consequences.
Then, applicants are told to “spin a tale about the trauma;” while referring to a C+ grade as trauma is exaggerated, given the serious mental health issues in our community, making light of any trauma isn’t appropriate and certainly isn’t funny.
Finally, CSU Bakersfield is listed as the target for “adjust(ing) the college of your dreams;” this is incredibly judgmental and insensitive to students for whom Bakersfield is their dream college (some students are really looking for a college fit or affordability, not the most prestigious or selective colleges).
I’m super disappointed by the tone and message conveyed — but more worried about the unintended consequences this article might have.