‘Undermatching’ can be a blessing

“Undermatching” — going to a less selective college — can be a blessing for students who’d otherwise be a small frog in a big pond, writes a community college dean.

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  1. I don’t see this as undermatching, it’s proper matching of kids’ academic preparation to college choice. It’s avoiding the mismatch created by admitting some kids with academic preparation/SAT scores far below their classmates. I remember reading a column in which the author stated that he had refused to let his daughter consider any college where she would not be within one SD of the freshman mean of white/Asian students.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    I was a very small frog at Enormous State University. I suspect that, had I been a bigger frog, I’d have had too many distractions.

  3. CharterMom says:

    Interesting — I think I did that without thinking about it. i was accepted at my top choice Ivy but chose instead to go to the place where I had a full-ride scholarship. While I’d have been qualified for the Ivy and don’t think I’d have had a problem keeping up, i definitely would have been just one of the bunch and would have graduated with debt (so this was years ago — you can barely go for one semester today for what four years cost then). But at my scholarship school, I was a leader and got to participate in lots of activities including athletics (something I was never good at) and the school newspaper. Basically any activity I wanted to pursue was open to me. My school was also known for its “teaching faculty” rather than research so I had some great teachers, And those experiences that I gained are what I carry with me today more than anything else.