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Going to College?
      An essay byDr. Ted Sielaff
Emeritus Professor of Business
San Jose State University
San Jose, California


Fall is coming and maybe you would like to go to college. But you've been careless and haven't made an application. Or maybe you were rejected by the University of your dreams.

If you are a parent with a child who is in this fix, you might like to pass along this advice.

Everybody must realize that famous universities like UC at Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia reject eighty five to ninety percent of persons who apply. They reject people who have excellent qualifications. Tens of thousands of students get rejection letters and may be a little depressed.

The big name universities get lots of publicity for their Nobel Prize winners and newsworthy research. That attracts thousands of students. Such scholarship is great, but the undergraduate is not likely to benefit from those accomplishments.

Fine students may be floating around wondering what to do.

Don't give up hope because there are dozens of community colleges in you area where you can get a good college education and your credits will be accepted by large universities all over the United States. They welcome you, but they are filling up, too.

Community colleges have a vast array of courses and programs designed to satisfy many different interests. Try one out for a semester and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you like what they are doing. Well-qualified faculties who have teaching as their primary job do the instruction.

The big universities are not for everybody. They have disadvantages that you and maybe your parents, too, have ove looked. Classes are often very large. Frequently, graduate assistants do the teaching.

In many instances, their students are from wealthy families that have influence. The schools are elitist in their orientation. Quite the antithesis from our ideals of democracy where everybody gets a chance. And, they are expensive; whereas the community colleges cost only a fraction of what you might pay at the name schools.

I was a college teacher for more than 40 years; and I'm saddened to say, I saw faculty at some universities who were more concerned about research and writing than students and teaching.

If you are lost about your college plans this fall, try one of the community colleges. But remember: Your willingness to study hard is the major factor in getting a high quality education. It's not the name of the college or university.

Don't delay-get your application in.

Ted Sielaff
San Jose, CA
sielaffted@msn.com

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