Honesty Best Policy for College Applications

Mia Jay

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“Affirmative action” is ostensibly a way for colleges to favor minority students in their acceptance policies.

So, it is no surprise that some students will exaggerate the significance of their race or ethnicity in their application essays.

According to Anemona Hartocillis of the New York Times, the high-stakes and lack of accountability make exaggerating or flat out lying a real problem in the college admission game: “Very little is done in the way of fact-checking, and on the few occasions officials do catch outright lies, they often do so by chance.”

Those who fib about the impact of their race in order to gain college entry will no doubt continue cheating their way through life beyond their college experience.

Sophomore Eshna Sarkar said, “If you just do that to get into college and you don’t relate to any of the culture or traditions, and you are just doing that to get into a school, then you are totally abusing that power and you are disrespecting that race or minority group.”

There are many people disadvantaged by their race or ethnicity that would be a valuable addition to any campus. It would be unfair to these people were colleges to ignore race, or any other unique circumstances that define an individual.

“I don’t really think that you can stop the lies about race on college essays, only reduce it. It’s going to take time,” said Sarkar.

Perhaps one way to combat this unfortunate practice is to remind students of the linger guilt they are likely to feel as they benefit from their false claims.

At the end of the day, cheating one’s way into a school may lead to a haunted existence.  Ethical behavior should come from an internal motivation.

Leaving home and going off to school is the start of an adult life, and part of becoming an adult is listening to your moral compass and making the right choices. College acceptance should be based on the truths of a person’s character as much as the on their academic performance.

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About the Writer
Mia Jay, Staff Writer

Sophomore Mia Jay has been an avid dancer for nearly 7 years. Jay dances with the California Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA), which performs annual shows...

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Honesty Best Policy for College Applications