Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern For Others And The Common Good Through College Admissions


Articles and resources related to college admissions, achievement pressure and college access.

Resources for Parents

More "Caring" College Admissions: 5 Tips for Parents

Creating a Sane, Healthy College Admissions Process with Your Teen: Conversation Starters


5 ways elite-college admissions shut out poor kids, National Public Radio, 1.15.16

Poverty preference admissions: The new affirmative action? US News & World Report, 1.12.16

The story of one disadvantaged teenager in Brooklyn and her fight to get into college, AlterNet, 1.8.16

Is the drive for success making our children sick?, New York Times 1.2.16

Our obsession with elite colleges is making our kids feel worthless, Quartz, 12.19.15

The Silicon Valley suicides, The Atlantic Magazine, 12.15.15

Silicon Valley’s college consultant industry, The Atlantic 12.9.15

College admissions odds are stacked against high achieving low-income students, HuffPost Education, 11.20.15

We’re destroying our kids – for nothing: Too much homework, too many tests, too much needless pressure, Salon, 10.31.15 

High school students are stressed out about college admissions; the reality of burning out before college, Medical Daily, 8.12.15

The heartbreaking physical toll of high achievement among disadvantaged teens, HuffPost, 7.20.15

Push, don’t crush, the students, NYTimes, 4.24.15 

Some students feeling college-admissions stress, USA Today, 3.26.15

Research and scholarly work

Abeles, V. (2015). Beyond measure. NY: Simon & Schuster.

Ansary, N. A., & Luthar, S. S. (2009).  Distress and academic achievement among adolescents of affluence: A study of externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors and school performance.  Development and Psychopathology, 21, 319-341.

Bruni, F. (2015). Where you go is not who you’ll be: An antidote to the college admissions mania. NY: Grand Central Publishing.

Conner, J., Pope, D., & Galloway, M. (2009), Success with less stress, Educational Leadership, 67(4), 54-47.

Luthar, S. S., & Becker, B. E. (2002). Privileged but pressured?: A study of affluent youth. Child Development, 73(5), p. 1593-1610

Galloway, M., Pope, D. C., & Osberg, J. (2007). Stressed-out students – SOS: Youth perspectives on changing school climates.  In D. Thiessen & A. Cook-Sather, (Eds.) International handbook of student experience of elementary and secondary school (p. 611-634). Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Pope, D., Brown, M., & Miles, S. (2015). Overloaded and underprepared: Strategies for stronger schools and healthy, successful kids. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Thacker, L., College admissions: What are students learning? http://www.educationconservancy.org/research.html

Weissbourd, R. (2011). The overpressured student. Educational Leadership, 68(8), 22-27.

Join the #TurnTheTide campaign and follow Making Caring Common on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Below are suggested Tweets, posts, and shareable images. Make sure to use the #TurnTheTide campaign hashtag and tag Making Caring Common!


→ Together we can #TurnTheTide in #collegeadmissions http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp
[see "Enough" shareable image below]

→ Proud to stand w @MCCHarvardEd & colleges nationwide to #TurnTheTide in #collegeadmissions http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp 
[see "Join forces" shareable image below]

→ Thrilled to support #TurnTheTide to deliver healthier messages to high school students http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp
[see "Signals" shareable image below]

→ [College/university/organization name] is in! Together we can #TurnTheTide in #collegeadmissions http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp

→ It's not all about AP courses & extracurriculars--ethical engagement counts in #collegeadmissions http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp #TurnTheTide

→ Together we can dial down pressure, level the playing field & refocus students on the common good http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp #TurnTheTide 

→ THANK YOU to the colleges & universities that have stepped up to #TurnTheTide in #collegeadmissions http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp


→ Together we can #TurnTheTide in #collegeadmissions to dial down achievement pressure, level the playing field and refocus students on the common good cc: Making Caring Common http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp
[see "Enough" shareable image below]

→ [College/university/organization name] is proud to stand with Making Caring Common and colleges nationwide to #TurnTheTide in #collegeadmissions http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp 
[see "Join forces" shareable image below]

→ Thrilled to support #TurnTheTide to deliver a clearer and healthier set of messages to aspiring college students cc: Making Caring Common http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp
[see "Signals" shareable image below]

→ Let's #TurnTheTide to refocus #collegeadmissions on generosity, humanity, and spirited, passionate learning. cc: Making Caring Common http://bit.ly/1Qej7Sp 
[see "Passionate learning" shareable image below}

Shareable images

"Enough" (download)

"Signals" (download)

"Passionate learning" (download)

"Join forces" (download)

Add your institution to our growing list of endorsers! Email collegeadmissions@makingcaringcommon.org for more information.

Colleges and universities
  1. Courtney Minden, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Babson College
  2. John Mahoney, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Boston College
  3. Kelly Walter, Associate Vice President and Executive Director, Admissions, Boston University
  4. Andrew Flagel, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment, Brandeis Univerisity
  5. James Miller, Dean of Admission, Brown University
  6. Donald Heller, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of San Francisco
  7. Ann Bowe McDermott, Director of Admissions, College of the Holy Cross
  8. Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, Columbia University
  9. Jason C. Locke, Associate Vice Provost for Enrolment, Cornell University
  10. Maria Laskaris, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Dartmouth College
  11. Rev. Dennis H. Holzschneider, President, DePaul University
  12. Robert Massa, Senior Vice President Enrollment & Institutional Planning, Drew University
  13. John F Latting, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment, Dean of Admission, Emory University
  14. William R. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Harvard University
  15. Diane Anci, Dean of Admission & Vice President for Enrolment, Kenyon College
  16. Matthew X Fissinger, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Loyola Marymount University
  17. Stuart Schmill, Dean of Admissions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  18. Janet Lavin Rapelye, Dean of Admission, Princeton University
  19. Julie Browning, Dean for Undergraduate Enrollment, Rice University
  20. Mike Sexton, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Santa Clara University
  21. Kathleen McCartney, President, Smith College
  22. Audrey Smith, Vice President for Enrollment, Smith College
  23. Jim Bock, Vice President and Dean of Admissions, Swathmore College
  24. Angel B. Perez, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success, Trinity College
  25. Walter Anthony Robinson, Associate Vice Chancellor, University of California Davis
  26. James Nondorf, Vice President, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, University of Chicago
  27. Stephen M. Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  28. Eric J. Furda, Dean of Admissions, University of Pennsylvania
  29. Philip Ballinger, Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, University of Washington
  30. Martha Blevins Allman, Dean of Admissions, Wake Forest University
  31. Joseph A. Soares, Chair, Department of Sociology, Professor of Sociology, Wake Forest University
  32. Michael Beseda, Vice President for Enrollment and University Communications, Willamette University
  33. Jeremiah Quinlan, Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Yale University
  34. Flora Z. Chan, Associate Director of Student Life for Diversity and Community, Amherst College
  35. J. Carey Thompson, Vice President of Enrollment and Communications, Rhodes College
  36. Susan Dileno, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Ohio Wesleyan
  37. Gregory Warren Roberts, Dean of Admission, University of Virginia
  38. Kedra Ishop, PhD, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Michigan
  39. Andrew K. Stickler, Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, Connecticut College
  40. Jonathan M. Stroud, Vice President for Enrollment & Communications, Earlham College
  41. Cindy Babington, Vice President for Admission & Financial Aid, Depauw University
  42. William Vanderbilt, Vice President for Admissions, Hope College
  43. Scott Friedhoff, Vice President for Enrollment and College Relations, College of Wooster
  44. Cornell B. LeSane, II, Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admissions, Allegheny College
  45. Michael Thorpe, Dean for Enrollment Management, Wabash College
  46. Steve Klein, Vice President, Enrollment Management, Albion College
  47. Michael S. Hills, Director of Admissions, Denison University
  48. Debra J. Chermonte, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Oberlin College
  49. Katie Fretwell, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Amherst College
  50. Kristin R. Tichenor, Senior Vice President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  51. Scott Meiklejohn, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Bowdoin College
  52. Barbara Gill, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Maryland
  53. Zina Evans, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Associate Vice Provost, University of Florida
  54. Eric Staab, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Kalamazoo College
  55. Harold Wingood, Interim Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Antioch College
  56. Mitch Warren, Director, Office of Admissions, Purdue University
  57. Falone Serna, Director of Admission, Reed College
  58. Chris George, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, St. Olaf College
  59. Michael S. Kabbaz, Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Success, Miami University
  60. David M. Phillips, Vice Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid, Johns Hopkins University
  61. Richard L. Nesbitt, Director of Admission, Williams College
  62. Grant M. Gosselin, Vice President of Enrollment; Dean of Admission & Student Aid, Wheaton College of Massachusetts
  63. Don Bishop, Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Enrollment, University of Notre Dame
  64. Hege K. Ferguson, Director of Admission, Florida State University
  65. Laura E. Martin-Fedich, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, Agnes Scott College
  66. Robert Mirabile, Vice President for Enrollment, Beloit College
  67. Robert G. Springall, Dean of Admissions, Bucknell University
  68. Matthew Proto, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Colby College
  69. Michelle L. Cloutier, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Bryant University
  70. Pelema I. Morrice, Ph.D., Chief Enrollment Officer, Bryn Mawr College
  71. Curt Dircks, Director for Admission, College of Mount Saint Vincent
  72. Matthew Ward, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, California Lutheran University
  73. David L. Placey, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Colby-Sawyer College
  74. Monica C. Inzer, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Hamilton College
  75. Arlene Wesley Cash, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Guilford College
  76. Xavier E. Romano, Vice President for Student Services, Eastern Oregon University
  77. Kenton Sparks, MBA, PhD, Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment, Eastern University
  78. Alison Hildenbrand, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Fairfield University
  79. Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Georgia Institute of Technology
  80. Gregory Sneed, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Denison University
  81. Brian Studebaker, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management, Holy Cross College at Notre Dame
  82. Julie McCulloh, Dean of Admission, Gonzaga University
  83. Robert C. Troy, Vice President for Enrollment Management, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  84. Chris Ellertson, Vice President of Enrollment, Lake Forest College
  85. Jonathan Burdick, Dean of College Admission; Vice-Provost for Enrollment Initiatives, University of Rochester
  86. Gregory V. MacDonald, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Lafayette College
  87. Carrie Carroll, Vice President of Enrollment, Luther Seminary
  88. Kent Rinehart, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment/Dean of Students, Marist College
  89. Nik Kumar, Vice President for Undergraduate Enrollment Management, Manhattanville College
  90. Caitlin Reed, Executive Director of Admissions and Enrollment Operations, Manhattan College
  91. Nick Spaeth, Associate Vice President for Admission, Monmouth College
  92. Bob Gielow, Vice President of Enrollment Services, New Hampshire Institute of Arts
  93. Steven Soba, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, Moravian College
  94. Kevin McKenna, Dean of Enrollment, Sarah Lawrence College
  95. Shery Boyles, Director of Admission, Meredith College
  96. Jason Murray, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Notre Dame de Namur University
  97. Jess Lord, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Haverford College
  98. Kristy Paredes Collins, Dean of Enrollment Management, Pepperdine University
  99. Kevin D. Brown, Senior Director of Admissions, Spring Arbor University
  100. Soumitra Ghosh, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Academic Support, Quincy University
  101. Tracy Manier, Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission, St. Edward’s University
  102. Jeff Rickey, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, St. Lawrence University
  103. Madeleine Eagon Rhyneer, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, Susquehanna University
  104. Benjamin S. Baum, Director of Admissions, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  105. Dr. Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, Dean of Enrollment, St. Martin’s University
  106. Yvette Sobky Shaffer, Dean of Admissions, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
  107. Gerard Turbide, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Ithaca College
  108. Tony Cabasco, Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, Whitman College
  109. Christine Bowman, Dean of Admission and Enrollment Services, Southwestern University
  110. Dr. Robert J. Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Oregon
  111. Scott Steinberg, Dean of University Admissions, University of New England
  112. Heath Einstein, Director of Freshman Admission, Texas Christian University
  113. M. Dolan Evanovich, Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Planning, The Ohio State University
  114. Scott J. Goplin, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Trine University
  115. Lee Ann Backlund, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, University of the South/Sewanee
  116. Mark Hatch, Vice President for Enrollment, Colorado College
  117. Jared Cash, Vice President for Enrollment, University of Maine at Farmington
  118. Michael M. Gaynor, Director of University Admission, Villanova University
  119. Matt Malatesta, VP for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment, Union College
  120. Tim Wolfe, Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission, College of William & Mary
  121. Christopher H. Lucier, Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Delaware
  122. Michael Lovell, President, Marquette University
  123. Brian Troyer, Dean of Admissions, Marquette University
  124. Thomas K. Malloy, Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management, Widener University
  125. Maurice A. Harris, Dean of Admissions, Syracuse University
  126. MJ Knoll-Finn, Vice President for Enrollment Management, New York University
  127. Donald Gordon, Associate Director for Undergraduate Admissions, Biola University
Academic endorsers
  1. Denise Pope, Senior Lecturer, Co-founder, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Challenge Success
  2. Roger P. Weissberg, Board Vice Chair and Chief Knowledge Officer; Professor, CASEL; University of Illinois at Chicago
  3. Donald Hossler, Senior Scholar, Center For Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice, Rossier School of Education, USC
  4. Vicki Zakrzewski, Education Director, Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
  5. Howard Gardner, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  6. Stephanie Jones, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  7. Judith McLaughlin, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  8. James Ryan, Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  9. Richard Weissbourd, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  10. James Youniss, Professor, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
  11. Jacob Murray, Faculty Director for Professional Education, Boston University School of Education
  12. Mandy Savitz-Romer, PhD, Senior Lecturer and Director, Prevention Science and Practice and CAS in Counseling Programs, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  13. Rachelle Hernandez,  Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Director of Admissions,  University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Allied organizations
  1. Lloyd Thacker, President, Education Conservancy
  2. Bill Jackson, Founder, President, CEO, GreatSchools
  3. Independent School Health Association
  4. National Association of Independent Schools
  5. Jonathan Cohen, President, National School Climate Center
  6. MacKenzie Moritz, Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships, Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute
  7. Becky Sipos, President & CEO, Character.org
  8. Celia Trigo Besore, MBA, CAE, Executive Director, National Association of Hispanic Nurses
  9. Claire Leheny, Executive Director, AISNE, The Association of Independent Schools in New England
  10. Abigail Falik, Founder and CEO, Global Citizen Year
  11. Noah Bopp, Founder and Head of School, The School for Ethics and Global Leadership
High schools and districts
  1. Todd Bland, Headmaster, Milton Academy
  2. Rod Skinner, Director of College Counseling, Milton Academy
  3. KC Cohen, Middle and Upper School Counselor, Riverdale Country School
  4. Eric Mannheim, Director of College Counseling, St. Mark’s School
  5. Jeff Young, Superintendent, Cambridge Public Schools
  6. Michael John Roe, Ed. D., Principal, Poly High School
  7. Horace Mann School
  8. Randall Dunn, Head of School, Latin School of Chicago
  9. Matt Micciche, Head of School, Friends School of Baltimore 
  10. James Parker, Principal, Plaza Vista School
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It's time to say, "Enough."

Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions marks the first time in history that a broad coalition of college admissions offices have joined forces to collectively encourage high school students to focus on meaningful ethical and intellectual engagement. The report includes concrete recommendations to reshape the college admissions process and promote greater ethical engagement among aspiring students, reduce excessive achievement pressure, and level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students. It is the first step in a two-year campaign that seeks to substantially reshape the existing college admissions process. 

The report includes concrete recommendations in three core areas:

  1. Promoting more meaningful contributions to others, community service and engagement with the public good. 
  2. Assessing students’ ethical engagement and contributions to others in ways that reflect varying types of family and community contributions across race, culture and class. 
  3. Redefining achievement in ways that both level the playing field for economically diverse students and reduce excessive achievement pressure. 

Read the executive summary →

Read the full report →

Read the press release →

Need to print copies of the report? Download a high-resolution PDF here.