Making Caring Common
Raising kids who care about others and the common good.
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Reports

Making Caring Common regularly publishes reports that draw from our original research in schools and with families. We also advise other organizations and corporations on their research (see Collaborations).

For media inquiries, please contact media@makingcaringcommon.org.

 

Making Caring Common regularly publishes reports that draw from our original research in schools and with families. We also advise other organizations and corporations on their research (see Collaborations).

For media inquiries, please contact media@makingcaringcommon.org.

 

 

Turning the Tide II: How Parents and High Schools Can Cultivate Ethical Character and Reduce Distress in The College Admissions Process

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March 2019

Our new report calls on parents and high schools to put young people’s character and well-being at the center of a healthier, more sane college admissions process.

Three years in the making, Turning the Tide II: How Parents and High Schools Can Cultivate Ethical Character and Reduce Distress in The College Admissions Process, offers guidelines for high schools and parents in promoting ethical character. It also describes how some high schools and colleges are working to promote greater ethical engagement among high school students, level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students, and reduce excessive achievement pressure. The report also includes a pioneering statement from admissions deans seeking to advance Turning the Tide’s goals.

Turning the Tide II makes the case that an intense focus on academic achievement has squeezed out serious attention to ethical character in many high schools and families, especially in middle- and upper-income communities. With a narrow focus on high achievement and admission to selective colleges, parents in these communities often fail to help their teens develop the critical cognitive, social, and ethical capacities that are at the heart of both doing good and doing well in college and beyond. Many parents also fail to be ethical role models to their children by allowing a range of transgressions—from exaggerating achievements to outright cheating—in the admissions process.

Often following parents’ lead, many high schools in middle- and upper-income communities tend to focus too rigidly on highly selective colleges, don’t adequately nurture students’ interests and curiosity, and do little to challenge parents engaging in ethically troubling behavior.

Read the report now →

 
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Media contact
Alison Cashin
617.495.1959
media@makingcaringcommon.org

 

Report Highlights

  1. Actionable guideposts for parents and high schools for shaping an admissions process that puts young people’s ethical character and well-being at the center of a healthier, more sane college admissions process

  2. New, pioneering statement endorsed by almost 140 college admissions deans that seeks to give high schools greater freedom in advancing Turning the Tide’s goals and to allay parents’ fears of short-changing their child if they don’t amass impressive achievements

  3. Examples of positive changes made by many colleges endorsing Turning the Tide, as well as Making Caring Common’s collaboration with the Common Application and Coalition for College to advance Turning the Tide’s goals

  4. Description of a new campaign that has engaged 189 high schools and middle schools nationwide in promoting Turning the Tide

Read more in the Executive Summary (PDF) or the full report (PDF).

 

 
Many parents fail to focus on what really matters in the college admissions process. In an effort to give their kids everything, these parents often end up robbing them of what really counts.
— Turning the Tide II
 

Ethical Parenting in the College Admissions Process

  1. Keep the focus on your teen

  2. Follow your ethical GPS

  3. Use the admissions process as an opportunity for ethical education

  4. Be authentic

  5. Help your teen contribute to others in meaningful ways

  6. Advocate for elevating ethical character and reducing achievement-related distress

  7. Model and encourage gratitude

Read more in the Executive Summary (PDF) or our Resources for Parents.

 

 
...we as parents ought to be willing to ask ourselves the hard, fundamental questions about who we want to be and what we want to model for our children.
— Turning the Tide II
 

A High School Guide To Ethical College Admissions

  1. Set ethical expectations with families

  2. Create opportunities for authentic student service and contributions to others

  3. Use the admissions process as an opportunity for ethical education

  4. Focus students on daily acts of character and provide evidence of character in applications

  5. Guide students in reporting their substantial family contributions and challenges

  6. Focus students on a wide range of colleges

  7. Create limits on advanced courses and discourage students from overloading on extracurricular activities

Read more in the Executive Summary (PDF) or our Resources for Educators.

 

RELATED Resources for EDUCATORS AND FAMILIES


Dean’s Commitment Letter

The Dean’s Commitment Letter, a pioneering statement endorsed by more than 140 college admissions deans, seeks to give high schools greater freedom in advancing the goals of Turning the Tide and to allay parents’ fears of short-changing their child if they don’t amass impressive achievements. Signatories include:

  1. Tamara Long, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions, Abilene Christian University

  2. Kristen E. Capezza, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Adelphi University

  3. Cornell B. LeSane, II, Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admissions, Allegheny College

  4. Courtney Minden, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, Babson College

  5. Robert Mirabile, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Beloit College

  6. Tony Cabasco, Vice President for Enrollment, Bennington College

  7. Sara H. Newhouse, Vice President for Admission & Financial Planning, Birmingham-Southern College

  8. John Mahoney, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, Boston College

  9. Kelly Walter, Associate Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admissions, Boston University

  10. Whitney Soule, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Bowdoin College

  11. Logan Powell, Dean, Brown University

  12. Michelle L. Cloutier, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Bryant University

  13. William Conley, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Bucknell University

  14. Paul Thiboutot, VP and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Carleton College

  15. Mary Alice Ozechoski, Vice President of Student Affairs & Traditional Enrollment, Cedar Crest College

  16. Rob Lange, Dean of Admission, Christopher Newport University

  17. Dr. Meredith Twombly, Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid, Clark University

  18. Matthew Proto, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Colby College

  19. Gary L. Ross, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Colgate University

  20. Curt Dircks, Director for Admission, College of Mount Saint Vincent

  21. Heather Albert-Knopp, Dean of Admission, College of the Atlantic

  22. Ann Bowe McDermott, Director of Admissions, College of the Holy Cross

  23. Tim Wolfe, Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission, College of William and Mary

  24. Scott Friedhoff, Vice President for Enrollment and College Relations, College of Wooster

  25. Mark Hatch, Vice President for Enrollment, Colorado College

  26. .Jessica Marinaccio, Director, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Columbia University

  27. Andrew K. Strickler, Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, Connecticut College

  28. Jason C. Locke, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment, Cornell University

  29. Sarah Richardson, Director of Admissions and Scholarships, Creighton University

  30. Iris P. Godes, Associate Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions, Dean College

  31. Gregory Sneed, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Denison University

  32. Robert Andrews, Vice President for Enrollment Management, DePauw University

  33. Anne E. Kremer, Dean of Admission, Drake University

  34. Robert Massa, Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Institutional Planning, Drew University

  35. Evelyn Thimba, VP and Dean of Admissions, Drexel University

  36. John Sullivan, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Eckerd College

  37. John F. Latting, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment, Dean of Admission, Emory University

  38. Alison Hildenbrand, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Fairfield University

  39. Hege K. Ferguson, Director of Admissions, Florida State University

  40. Patricia Peek, Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Fordham University

  41. John Chenier, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Framingham State University

  42. Kathryn Coffman, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Franklin College

  43. Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Georgia Institute of Technology

  44. Gail Sweezey, Director of Admissions, Gettysburg College

  45. Julie McCulloh, Dean of Admission, Gonzaga University

  46. Monica C. Inzer, Dean of Enrollment and Retention, Hamilton College

  47. Dr. William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, Harvard University

  48. Thyra L. Briggs, Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid, Harvey Mudd College

  49. Jess Lord, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Haverford College

  50. D. Andrew Bills, Senior Vice President for Enrollment, High Point University

  51. William Vanderbilt, Vice President for Admissions, Hope College

  52. Anthony Jones, Assistant Vice-President of Enrollment Management, Howard University

  53. John F. Champoli, Director of Admissions, Husson University

  54. Steve Herendeen, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Indiana Institute of Technology

  55. Boyd A. Bradshaw, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

  56. Gerard Turbide, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Ithaca College

  57. Steve P. Vitatoe, Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Admission, John Carroll University

  58. David M. Phillips, Vice Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid, Johns Hopkins University

  59. Eric Staab, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Kalamazoo College

  60. Diane Anci, Vice President, Enrollment Management & Dean of Admissions, Kenyon College

  61. Cornelius Darcy, Vice President - Marketing, Communications and Enrollment, Kettering University

  62. Jennifer Sekol, Director of Admissions, Keystone College

  63. Chris Ellertson, Vice President for Enrollment, Lake Forest College

  64. Ken Anselment, Vice President for Enrollment & Communication and Dean of Admission, Lawrence University

  65. Edwin Wright, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Lebanon Valley College

  66. Matthew X. Fissinger, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Admission, Loyola Marymount University

  67. Michael Konopski, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Lycoming College

  68. Kent Rinehart, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management/Dean of Admission, Marist College

  69. Brian Troyer, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Marquette University

  70. Theresa Bedoya, Vice President for Admission & Financial Aid, Maryland Institute College of Art

  71. Leah McDermott, Assistant Director of Admissions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  72. Stuart Schmill, Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  73. Shery Boyles, Director of Admissions, Meredith College

  74. Michael S. Kabbaz, Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Success, Miami University

  75. Bill Sliwa, Dean of Enrollment Management, Moravian College

  76. Terri Snyders Crumley, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Admissions, Mount Mercy University

  77. James W. Smith, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

  78. Robert G. Springall, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Muhlenberg College

  79. MJ Knoll-Finn, Vice President for Enrollment Management, New York University

  80. Jon Westover, Associate Vice Provost & Director of Admissions, NC State University

  81. Martin Sauer, Vice-President for Enrollment Management & Athletics, North Central College

  82. Shawn Blenker, Executive Director of Admissions, Northwest Nazarene University

  83. Manuel Carballo, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Oberlin College

  84. William Eilola, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Ohio Northern University

  85. Candace J. Boeninger, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Ohio University

  86. Emily Roper-Doten, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Olin College of Engineering

  87. Kristy Paredes Collins, Dean of Enrollment Management, Pepperdine University

  88. Mitch Warren, Director, Office of Admissions, Purdue University

  89. J. Carey Thompson, Vice President of Enrollment and Communications/Dean of Admission, Rhodes College

  90. Faye Felterman Tydlaska, Ph.D., Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, Rollins College

  91. Lisa Norton, Dean of Admissions, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

  92. Michael Sexton, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Santa Clara University

  93. Kevin McKenna, Dean of Enrollment, Sarah Lawrence College

  94. Mary Lou W. Bates, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Skidmore College

  95. Elena Hicks, Dean of Admission and Executive Director of Enrollment Services, Southern Methodist University

  96. Enga Almeida, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Southwestern Adventist University

  97. Christine Bowman, Dean of Admission and Enrollment Services, Southwestern University

  98. Kevin D. Brown, Senior Admissions Director, Spring Arbor University

  99. Benjamin S. Baum, Vice President of Enrollment, St. John's College

  100. Yvette Sobky Shaffer, Director of Admissions, St. John's College, Santa Fe

  101. Jeff Rickey, VP and Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, St. Lawrence University

  102. Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, Dean of Enrollment, St. Martin's University

  103. Rosalind V. Alderman, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, St. Mary's University

  104. Chris George, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, St. Olaf College

  105. Madeleine Eagon Rhyneer, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Financial Services, Susquehanna University

  106. James L. Bock, Vice President and Dean of Admissions, Swarthmore College

  107. Maurice A. Harris, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Syracuse University

  108. Heath Einstein, Dean of Admission, Texas Christian University

  109. Dr.Carol Kim, Vice President for Research, The New School

  110. Rick Longo, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, The University of the Arts

  111. James G. Nondorf, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Advancement and Dean of College Admissions and Financial Aid, The University of Chicago

  112. Peter Wilson, Director of Admissions, Deputy Dean & Chief of Staff, The University of Chicago

  113. Lee Ann Backlund, Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, The University of the South/Sewanee

  114. Stephen Lazowski, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Thiel College

  115. Scott J. Goplin, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Trine University

  116. Angel B. Perez, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success, Trinity College

  117. Eric Maloof, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Trinity University, Trinity University

  118. Dale Bittinger, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Admissions, Orientation, and School Partnerships, UMBC - University of Maryland, Baltimore County

  119. Matt Malatesta, Vice President for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment, Union College

  120. Rob Durkle, Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, University of Dayton

  121. Robert D. Broshous, Dean of Admission, University of Dubuque

  122. Shane Davidson, Vice President for Enrollment, University of Evansville

  123. Zina Evans, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Associate Provost, University of Florida

  124. Jared Cash, Vice President for Enrollment, University of Maine at Farmington

  125. Kedra Ishop, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, University of Michigan

  126. Scott Steinberg, Dean of University Admissions, University of New England

  127. Stephen M. Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  128. Don Bishop, Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Enrollment, University of Notre Dame

  129. Dr. Robert J. Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management, University of Oregon

  130. Eric J. Furda, Dean of Admissions, University of Pennsylvania

  131. Dr. Stephanie Dupaul, Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Richmond

  132. Jonathan Burdick, Dean of College Admission; Vice-Provost for Enrollment Initiatives, University of Rochester

  133. Michael Beseda, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, University of San Francisco

  134. Timothy E. Brunold, Dean of Admission, University of Southern California

  135. Gregory Warren Roberts, Dean of Admission, University of Virginia

  136. Philip Ballinger, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, University of Washington

  137. Dr. Jeffery T. Gates, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, Utica College

  138. Martha Blevins Allman, Dean of Admissions, Wake Forest University

  139. Robert A. Adkins, Dean of Admission, Washington & Jefferson College

  140. Joy St. John, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Wellesley College

  141. Josh Jensen, Vice President for Enrollment and Communications, Whitman College

  142. Thomas K. Malloy, Associate Vice President Enrollment Management, Widener University

  143. Richard L. Nesbitt, Director of Admission, Williams College

  144. Mary Ann Naso, Vice President for Enrollment, Wilson College

  145. Brand Stille, Vice President for Enrollment, Wofford College

  146. Andrew Palumbo, Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  147. Jeremiah Quinlan, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Yale University

Thanks also to college admissions leaders at Agnes Scott College, Alfred University, Alma College, Amherst College, Bennington College, Carroll College, Catawba College, Central Methodist University, Champlain College, Clarke University, Dickinson College, Hampshire College, Luther Seminary, North Carolina State University, Notre Dame de Namur University, Ohio Wesleyan, Rice University, Smith College, St. Edward's University, and Wheaton College of Massachusetts who have supported the Turning the Tide goals.

For the accompanying list of Turning the Tide endorsers, please visit our campaign page.

 

Read the first Turning the Tide Report


Report, TtT, TTT2Alexis Ditkowsky