College Counseling Blog

Welcome to the College Counseling Blog by Chris Teare, Director of College Counseling, and Russell Althouse, Associate Director of College Counseling.


Ethical Collaboration and Communication Key in College Admissions

Ongoing revelations from the college admissions scandal make plain the need for regular collaboration and communication between all those involved in helping a high school student find a college that truly fits, because part of what went criminally wrong occurred when some people involved did not know what others were doing – some of which was just plain wrong.

There were of course those fully “in the know”: certainly the independent agent who bribed college coaches to pretend some applicants were recruited athletes when they were no such thing, and arranged for other people to take standardized tests for students, or correct them in a completely unauthorized and unethical way, as well as, of course the parents who paid for such services. They collaborated and communicated very effectively – in criminal ways.

Others, however, apparently had no idea what was going on. Some of those not in the know appear to have included some of the applicants themselves. Their parents did not communicate what they were doing to cheat the application process. Other students of course did know, and apparently in some cases even bragged about what their parents had done for them. These types of collaboration and communication are not in any way proper.

By contrast, starting 30 years ago and more recently during more than a decade as a college counselor in the US Virgin Islands, I have done everything I could to be in touch with both high school and college coaches of students who wanted to continue their sports at the next level, as well as with the admissions office representatives and, when necessary, the athletic liaisons in the admissions office, to make sure we were all collaborating and communicating ethically in the prospective student-athlete’s best interest.

At Wardlaw+Hartridge, I am continuing that process, as well as obtaining contact information for all independent educational consultants, international agents, and outside/club coaches. In order to help our students in the right ways, all of the adult professionals involved in a student’s college process need to collaborate and communicate ethically. The failures in the college admissions scandal highlight the need for us to commit ourselves fully to doing the right things the right way, because there will be additional scrutiny of applicants in the year to come.

To shift from the professional to the personal for a moment, my youngest daughter is soon to sail with her teammates in the US national intercollegiate championships. She was admitted to her university as a sailing recruit because she actually can help make boats go fast. We have great students at Wardlaw + Hartridge, all of whom take standardized tests, some of whom use outside consultants or agents, and some of whom want to play college sports. In all cases, we all have to communicate and collaborate to help them do the right things in the right ways.

Posted by cteare on Wednesday May, 15, 2019 at 10:00AM


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