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Matriculation: Yes or No?
Board Editorial
May 29, 2019

For the past thirty years, the Scroll has published a “Matriculation/Future Plans” spread in the May issue to celebrate the future of the graduating class. Seniors can submit their plans for the upcoming year, informing the Scroll on where they plan to go after Deerfield. The central page of this issue is dedicated to showcasing their choices.

While the decision to publish this page has raised concerns, both past and current administrations of the Scroll have continued to publish it. Here, we would like to articulate our reasoning for why such information deserves to be presented to the community.

To some, the matriculation page has been viewed as a quantification of a student’s Deerfield experience and the subsequent reduction of this experience to a single college name.

While this is a valid concern, we, as the Scroll Board, strongly disagree with focusing on the name or prestige of a college over the accomplishments of a student. The Scroll does not aim to further this perspective. There is no doubt that the college process is a big part of the Deerfield experience; indeed, by name we are a college preparatory school. However, a college choice is not, and should not, be the defining characteristic of any student.

To address this, the Scroll has altered the formatting of the spread over the years. In the past, college names were printed first, followed by a list of all the students who had enrolled for the upcoming year. Not only did this isolate students who were not proceeding on the traditional college route immediately after senior year, but it also literally prioritized college names over students’.

Instead of highlighting each student’s individual choice and journey, this format disregarded the need to celebrate a student’s accomplishments over a college’s prestige.

Now, we showcase each student’s choice individually. We hope the continuation of this change in layout, which was a direct result of a valid concern, makes it clear that we value each student’s individual experience, not just their college acceptance.

While a student’s plans after graduation should never be the primary focus of their educational experience, it is still an accomplishment that should be praised and acknowledged. It is a demonstration of the time and effort they have dedicated to their education. It is a celebration of years and years of effort. It is an appreciation of the journey, not just the destination. This page is meant to give all students a platform to be proud of their incredible accomplishment – especially when, to some, the issue of college decisions can be seen as a delicate topic.

At Deerfield, college is always the elephant in the room. Students understand that college decisions can be exciting for some, disappointing for others, and stressful all around. Sensitivity about the subject is expected; however, when this sensitivity turns into an unwillingness to talk about the subject, it becomes detrimental to Deerfield’s student culture— there simply is no conversation. No one wants to seem like they are bragging about their acceptance. On the other hand, no one wants to talk about their rejection, either.

These concerns are perhaps even more relevant in conversations with faculty. Faculty members know that bringing up a students future plans has the potential to be extremely awkward and uncomfortable for both parties. They might also be concerned about invading privacy.

The publication of this spread eliminates such awkwardness. The opportunity for a student to publish their future plans gives every student the choice of whether or not to talk about their specific situation. It gives them agency, allowing them to frame the narrative around their decision. It provides an open space for every student to celebrate the next step in their educational journey— without any uncomfortable conversations.

So, while there is valid hesitation to publish a page listing such decisions, we believe we’ve made the right choice.

The Scroll’s “Matriculation/Future plans” page should be seen as a respectful send-off to our senior class and a ‘good luck’ to them as they continue on their journey. We applaud the future that each of these seniors has worked hard to achieve, and we want to provide a space where each student can be proud of how far they’ve come.