McCallie student discusses college admissions process in New York Times article

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The New York Times recently published an article about four honest applicants awaiting college admissions results.

One of the honest applicants featured is Jackson Lamb, a scholarship senior at McCallie School.

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“The writer has worked with McCallie before. So he called over and said hey I’m writing this piece. I’d like to talk to one of your students that’s gone through the college admissions process,” Lamb said.

So Lamb agreed to talk about what the college admissions process has been like for him.

Which included taking exams in a way that accommodates his attention deficit disorder.

At times it’s been very busy, but the process for Lamb is nearly over.

“I have mostly whittled it down to a couple of options now. It’s just talking it over with my college counselor and my parents,” Lamb said.

The college admissions process came into the forefront after several parents, including celebrity moms, were accused of bribing and cheating to get their kids into college.

In some cases, they pretended their kids had learning disabilities for extra test time.

“Cheating in general is wrong. So of course I’d feel a little outraged about that,” Lamb said.

There’s no denying the increasing competition to get into college.

More people are graduating high school, seeing higher education as necessary, and some schools, often viewed as better, only take a small percentage of applicants.

“It is obviously an important decision, but it is not everything in a student’s life and it shouldn’t be taken as valued judgment as who they are,” Jeff Kurtzman said.

Kurtzman is the Director of College Counseling at McCallie.

His advice for students and families of kids with sights on one day attending college is to be authentic.

“Make your high school career have value in and of itself. Don’t just do a bunch of things to try to get into college, but be authentically yourself, explore your interests. Do as well as you can in school and the rest of it will take care of itself and to worry more about a college where it’s going to fit the student well where he or she could be successful and not worry so much about what’s the name on the back of the bumper sticker,” Kurtzman said.

Kurtzman said he feels the college admissions scandal will shine a light on some of the advantages that the rich and powerful have in the process and hopes it will inspire action to make things more fair for everyone.

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