I've twice been to college admissions wars, and as I survey the battle field, something different is happening. It's one upmanship among parents. We see our kids college 36 as trophies ( 战利品) attesting to how well we've raised them. But we can't acknowledge that our obsession is more about us than them. So we've contrived various 37 that turn out to be haft truths, prejudices or myths.
We have a full blown prestige panic; we worry that there won't be enough trophies to go around. Fearful parents urge their children to apply to more schools than ever.
Underlying the hysteria is the belief that scarce 38 degrees must be highly valuable. Their graduates must enjoy more success because they get a better education and develop better contacts. All that's 39 and mostly wrong. Selective schools don't systematically 40 better instructional approaches than less-selective schools. Some do; some don't. On two measures--professors feedback and the number of essay exams--selective schools do slightly worse.
By some studies, selective schools do enhance their graduates lifetime earnings. The gain is reckoned at 2 percent to 4 percent for every 100 point increase in a school's average SAT scores. But even this advantage is probably a 41 fluke (偶然;侥幸). A well kno,vn study by Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Stacy Berg Dale of Mathematica Policy Research examined students who got into highly selective schools and then went elsewhere. They earned just as much as graduates from other schools.
Kids count more than their colleges. Getting into Yale may 42 intelligence, talent and ambition.But it's not the only indicator and, 43 , its significance is declining. The reason: so many similar people go elsewhere. Getting into college isn't life's only competition. In the next competition--the job market, graduate school--the results may change. Old boy networks are breaking down. Krueger studied admissions to one top Ph.D. program. High scores on the Graduate Record Exam helped explain who got in; Ivy League degrees didn't.
So, parents, lighten up. The stakes have been vastly exaggerated. Up to a point, we can 44 our pushiness(一意孤行). America is a competitive society; our kids need to adjust to that. But too much pushiness can be 45 . The very ambition we impose on our children may get some into Harvard but may also set them up for disappointment. One study of students 20 years out found that, other things being equal, graduates of highly selective-schools experienced more job dissatisfaction. They may have been so conditioned to being on top that anything less disappoints.
36.L 37.G 38.D 39.K 40.E 41.O 42.N 43.B 44.M 45.C