It’s true: compared to last year, fewer Deerfield seniors have gained admission to Ivy League universities. But the reason for this decline in acceptances is not because our seniors are less committed, involved, athletic or intelligent. As I understand it, the lower Ivy admission rate is due to today’s tough competition, thanks to a huge increase in national and international applicants. For Yale University alone, the number of applications has increased by five thousand in the past four years.
Faced with tough competition, many applicants, Deerfield’s included, turn to other sources for support, for that extra boost: money and connections. Admit it—we at Deerfield all know someone who got into some Ivy or another because his/her parents called the school and generously donated a new pool or business building. Clearly, this scenario is not applicable to every Ivy League acceptance, but we can’t deny its existence.
These accepted students, I’m sure, are well-qualified and well- educated (they go to this school, after all), but what sets them apart from the rest of the applicants is not their commitment to the Debate Club or Choral Society. It’s their family background and their connections. Subsequently, we might conclude: rejected students are not to blame at all, and neither is Deerfield.
We attend a school that encourages its students to be proactive and responsible global citizens. I believe that, in this aspect, Deerfield is doing a fine job. The Academy provides us with numerous opportunities to be involved with many clubs and organizations on campus. Students are welcome to immerse themselves in these co-curricular activities.
College admission is a crazy process, and a rejection from an Ivy definitely does not mean that a person is not involved or committed enough—it just shows that there are too many well-qualified applicants to accommodate everyone.