Teen Roundtable: What do you think of the media coverage of teens who get accepted to all of the Ivies?

For high school students across the country (and, let’s face it, the world for that matter), the college admissions game is one of the most stressful things in life. After you’ve spent years cultivating the right variety of extra curricular activities, maintaining the right GPA, studying for (and hopefully acing) the SAT or ACT and generally trying to still be a human with interests that aren’t related to your future alma mater, it’s time to put all of your hard work to the test and apply for college. Where you get in could change the course of your life and, as if that’s not enough to get your anxiety running high, people are constantly asking where you plan to go and what you plan to do with your life once you get there.

It’s a lot.

This year though, it seems like several students have figured out the secrets to winning the college admissions game, with several making headlines after receiving acceptance letters to every school in the prestigious and notoriously tough-to-crack Ivy League. While it’s awesome (beyond awesome) to hear about teens rocking their college apps and getting into the best schools in the world, we couldn’t help but wonder how real teens feel about all of the buzz surrounding these high-profile admissions feats. So, we decided to do one of our Teen Roundtables and find out. Here’s what they had to say:

It’s DEFINITELY reason to celebrate. 

“I think it’s definitely newsworthy! Getting into university is so stressful, and getting into all the top colleges is an incredible achievement. I think it’s awesome that the media wants to celebrate teens succeeding, and getting into university is such a big event in any teens life, so getting into all the Ivy League schools deserves recognition!” – Ella Minker, 18.

“Getting into all of the Ivy Leagues is quite the accomplishment! Applying to colleges can be a difficult thing to do, and getting into all 8 of the Ivies is amazing. They are all great schools and even getting accepted into one is great. I think that this is one of the top achievements of college-related successes, as most people in high school can’t do this. While more people are accomplishing this, I still believe that it is an amazing triumph in the college admissions game.” – Mackenzie Walsh, 16.

“I personally think that Fernando Rojas, the latest teen to make headlines for this, getting into all the Ivies is an incredible feat. The amount of dedication and time a teenager has to put into academics/extra-curriculars to get into just one is definitely awe-worthy in itself. Through managing to get into all of them as a part of a racial minority, I think Rojas is quite admirable and deserving (especially considering how difficult it is to keep a healthy life socially and otherwise when you’re working so rigorously academically).” – Brandy Kuhn, 15.

“Obviously an immense amount of work and talent goes into achieving something like that; from doing so well in school, to the actual applications, so I think it’s nice that that’s being praised and celebrated.” – Kate Pettersen, 15.

It’s great that they got into all of the “best” schools, but there are more important things to consider. 

“It’s great that they’re getting into all of the colleges, quite a feat, but it’s what is done with the education received that truly matters.”  – Kait Wilbur, 16.

“I think that getting into any of the Ivies is impressive, and getting into all of them is really amazing! But, it’s important to take into account that past a certain point of the admission process, a lot of it is up to chance. So yes, obviously the students who got in to all the Ivies are extremely bright and successful students — but that doesn’t mean that students who didn’t get into the Ivies aren’t extremely bright and successful students. And while Ivy League schools are widely recognized as being prestigious, they aren’t necessarily the best environment for all people. For a for a lot of students, these aren’t even “dream schools.” So congratulations to everyone who got into all the Ivies! And congratulations to everyone who got into a college where they can pursue their passions!” – Megan Phelps, 15.

“In my mind, college admissions require a realistic mindset. Getting into any Ivy is extremely impressive, yes, so getting into all eight is incredible. Newsworthy, though, not so much. Even though the Ivies are pretty impossible to get into, I find that the kids who are truly qualified to get into  one are able to get into multiple. I think that something truly newsworthy, however, requires that the story is at least somewhat relatable; very few people have the ability to get into all eight Ivies, and those stories tend to anger people about the college admissions process more than excite them about someone’s accomplishment. The process of getting into an Ivy is hugely different from the process of getting into any other college; it’s natural to discount someone’s acceptance into an Ivy League school because you know that they are an exceptional student; the kids who get into those schools usually are not very relatable, they don’t seem like average kids, which takes away from the newsworthy aspect of it.” – Jennifer Labovitz, 18.

Getting into all of the Ivies is definitely impressive — but there’s more pressure to stand out now.

“One of the few costs of having a smarter new generation is that you have to work increasingly harder to be recognized. Though it’s still exiting now, reaching academic milestones like this are bound to loose their news-worthiness over time, despite the months of hard work they take to achieve. Still, in the long run, I’d argue that’s something to celebrate.” – Grace Curtis, 16.

“I believe getting accepted by all the Ivies is an impressive accomplishment because (statistically) the odds of that happening are slim to none. However, I think the media over-glorifies the feat and pushes high schoolers to apply to Ivies, even if the schools don’t match their preferences. Students are often dissuaded from other schools because they lack a “name-brand.” The Ivies are fantastic institutions, but there are plenty of other schools that provide programs as great as Ivy schools and a better “fit.” I don’t think getting into Ivies is easier than before (in fact I’d argue it’s harder than before). But I think the significance of it has dwindled over time with the rise of other great colleges and universities.” – Kandise Le Blanc, 17. 

It’s mind-boggling, but still great! 

“Over here in the UK, UK citizens are not allowed to apply for both Oxford University and Cambridge University in the same year, so this kind of situation is unheard of in the UK. I don’t think that somebody getting accepted to all of the Ivy League universities would mean that the admissions standards had become slacker because university places are still incredibly competetive, but I personally think that teens are told to aim higher these days and people who wouldn’t have applied to college 10 years ago in the same situation are more likely to nowadays. It would be brilliant if the reason more people are getting into all of the Ivy League universities is a result of encouragement and a discovery of their ability that just wouldn’t have happened in the past. It must take an incredible talent to have been accepted to all universities, and no matter whether things have changed or not, it’s still an amazing achievement!” – Antonia Sulley, 15.

(Image via here.)

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