The road was so dark, and the night so foggy, that I could hardly see. My 16-year-old son, Simon, and I were in southwestern Virginia. Diamond-shaped warning signs about downhill grades and truck brakes flashed by. The sky was weirdly light along the horizon, but none of that seemed to translate to the highway that unfurled blackly ahead.
My friends and I like to bore our kids with stories about how we applied to college back in the Gen-X heyday: We had to pull forms off the back of college brochures, type all our information and essay responses on an actual typewriter and mail them. After that, we held our breath and hoped for fat envelopes in April.
The controversy over race and admissions at elite educational institutions is heating up. Harvard University is under pressure to stop discriminating against Asian-Americans, who make up a smaller percentage of its student body (22.2 percent) than their grades and test scores would warrant.
Mental-health problems among college students have been climbing since the 1990s, according to the American Psychological Association. And with services increasingly stretched at campus health centers, students have been taking action themselves through peer-run mental-health clubs and organizations.
Crossing the campus at the university where I teach, I often pass groups of bored-looking high school students taking a tour with their over-interested parents. My school has outstanding student tour guides, but I find it unnerving that many of those visiting high school seniors and juniors will choose a school based only on a carefully designed tour of the campus’ high points.
Walsh University draws students from 40 countries and from 40 states in the U.S. While much of the university’s student body is from Northeast Ohio, Walsh attracts out-of-town enrollees for its specialty majors—such as museum studies—and its sports programs.