Redwood’s over-the-top college stigma

Andrew Hout

Getting a rejection letter from a top-choice college is hard. However, you shouldn’t feel distressed just because Redwood’s atmosphere makes it seem customary to get in everywhere.

Seniors who don’t get admitted into these elite schools might feel disappointed when they compare themselves to Redwood’s high performers. This attitude is absurd seeing as they are part of the minority (44 percent) of students in the nation actually going to a four-year university, let alone an elite one, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 


Historically, Tam District schools, particularly Redwood, have an extremely high percentage of college attendees (91 percent in 2016). In the rest of America only 66 percent of students enroll in college at all and less than that attend 4-year universities, according to the NCES.  

The notion at Redwood that a lot of people attend Ivy League colleges or top UC’s makes it seem as if they are easy to get into, when in reality it’s because so many Redwood students are above average. Redwood students have a habit of writing off anything else as inferior when, in fact, other universities can offer just as many opportunities as top schools.

The opinion of many students is that certain schools like University of Colorado (Boulder) or University of Oregon are fairly easy to get into if one has a solid GPA. However, this does not mean that they offer worse educational opportunities; the average graduate majoring in electrical engineering, for example, will make above 100 grand per year no matter their alma mater.

As opposed to California, which has a whopping nine schools in the UC system (plus even more CSUs), there are only a few state universities in Colorado, Oregon, Arizona and other nearby states.

Every state has requirements to let students who have taken 2 years of community college into a state university. Around 25 percent of high school students attend 2-year community colleges, according to the NCES. California has the ability to transfer these students to any of their numerous universities, but other states do not get that advantage. As a result these schools receive a partially worse rap because of their wider range of academic students, which deters Redwood students from attending.   

In an area like Marin County, there is a greater chance of academic excellence because of the impressive public high school system. Redwood was ranked as the 11th best high school in California on the 2016 Best Schools Niche poll. Last year 31 Redwood students were admitted into UC Berkeley, a university with an acceptance rate of only 17.5 percent, and only 13 of them chose to attend, according to Naviance College Planning data.

Students should feel honored to get accepted to and attend a much wider range of universities across America. Many students living in areas with worse public education systems have little chance of gaining admittance at any schools.

For kids to feel bad after not getting accepted into Stanford and school’s of a similar caliber is ridiculous, because for the majority of the nation’s youth, acceptance to Stanford is considered nearly impossible. This idea at Redwood that only a select few universities truly validate one’s intelligence is bogus. Getting accepted into any major university means that you are accomplished, seeing as many kids from around the country aspire to attend these schools.

Most of the universities that Redwood students go on to attend are highly praised nationwide as good, solid options, and should be treated as such.