It has been said that the US “college admission journey is a marathon, not a sprint.” We get it, but we say that the journey is more like mountaineering.
The modern-day marathon, as in the 2020/2021 Tokyo Olympics and elsewhere across the globe, is set at 26 miles 385 yards or 42.195 kms. Runners in each marathon cover exactly the same distance, route and terrain, and they head for the same destination — the finish line.
The US college admission process isn’t like that at all. While a marathon is the same distance for all, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to college admissions. Each applicant’s journey invariably differs from the journeys of others, as students choose from about 4,000 degree-granting institutions. Each institution’s admission process and criteria also vary in terms of selectivity and complexity. One student may travel from afar and seek admission to an Ivy League school, whereas another student may apply to a local public university.
Indeed, college admission draws close parallels to mountaineering. Like college applicants, climbers face individual challenges by tackling ranges of various heights and difficulties, from average to arduous, from graded hills to soaring peaks.