UK must better identify college-ready freshmen



By Amelia Orwick

When I began considering which university I was going to attend upon high school graduation, I was looking for several things. One of my top priorities was finding a nice campus.

I was especially attracted to UK for its beauty. The sight of students studying on the green amphitheater in front of Memorial Hall was just the type of scene I’d been looking for.

However, the stunning campus that I fell in love with three years ago has changed. Now it is beset, but not in the way that most would assume I’m referring to.

Campus is littered with students, and many of them don’t belong.

There are a large number of students enrolled at UK and other colleges across the nation who simply are not prepared for college and the responsibilities that it brings.

I am certainly not saying that I’m the most intelligent person at UK, nor am I suggesting that all of you are unfit for higher education.

What I am trying to communicate is that the college environment is not for everyone. Students not only need to possess solid intellectual abilities, but a set of social skills as well. There is no denying that the students who have the most success in college are well-rounded individuals. I have witnessed firsthand that students lacking one quality or the other often fail out of school or drop out on their own.

As badly as I wish that some of my friends were able to find their role in the college community, we all need to accept the fact that some are better suited for a different type of post-secondary education.

The size of the freshman class continues to grow year after year, and the effects of this trend are becoming more evident.

When I visited the library last week, I spent 20 minutes looking for a parking spot, and then spent 20 more trying to find a study space. After getting settled in, I found that it was too loud to concentrate on my work. To relieve some of the stress I had built up, I decided to treat myself to a beverage from Starbucks, only to find a line out the door of Ovids Café. These are basic amenities that I should have easy access to, but I had to forfeit my right to them because of the overabundance of people.

In addition, unprepared students receive scholarships that I feel others are more deserving of. I come from a middle-class family, and because our income is just above the mark, we receive no financial help from the government. While my parents are able to make ends meet, it is by no means easy.

Both my parents and I work hard to make sure that I receive a quality education, as is the case with many other families. It is my belief that families such as these earn their right to scholarship and aid, but again, this is not always the case. Many recipients are students who are less prepared to succeed. This is yet another example of distribution of resources that is unfair, and results from the lack of college readiness today.

I understand that I did not enroll in a highly competitive school, and that my experience might be different at another university. However, I still say that UK is a wonderful school that should recruit the best students. I want to learn alongside people who care about their education and will push me to do my best.

Ask any professor, and I am certain that they can differentiate between the students who belong in their classroom and those who do not. We should be attempting to recognize which category  students fall into before admitting them to college. There are several possible ways to do this, from standardized testing to interviewing applicants. I am no expert on higher education, so I cannot say for sure what the best option is. However, as a college student myself, I can confirm the frustration that results from sharing time, money and resources with students who are not ready for college, and will make my voice heard about the fact that something needs to be done.

It pleases me to know that so many people in today’s society see the worth of a college degree, but we have to face the facts. There are a ton of options when it comes to post-secondary education, and students should take the time to consider all of them to find their “perfect fit.”