College popularity trends rise at Staples


Andrew Vester, Staff Writer

During their time at Staples, many students have gone on college tours to find the “perfect” fit for them.  With over 7,000 options to choose from, it would seem college-goers are unlikely to attend the same school as other Wreckers, but there have always been common favorites such as the University of Michigan and Tulane University.

However, the 460 graduating seniors in the class of 2015 did not abide by the norm that had been established by former classes.  Some of the most popular universities for the departing seniors are ones that have had a minimal population of Wreckers in the past.

For instance, ten seniors will be heading  to upstate New York to attend Cornell University, compared to only three students who chose to attend from the class of 2014.

“In addition to Cornell, Washington University in St. Louis got more popular this year,” Abby Lustig ’15, a future student at Cornell, said.  “A number of seniors are also going to Tulane.”

Guidance counselor P.J. Washenko spoke on this rise in popularity.

“I think any of the Ivy league schools are going to have that popularity that surrounds them because you know they’re Ivy league schools,” Washenko said.  “They have an association with them that it’s an Ivy league school, it’s a great education.  They are very good schools in general.”

Besides Cornell University, there have been dramatic increases in the number of applications sent to the University of Delaware.

“A few years back, a school like the University of Delaware was only getting a handful of applications,” Washenko added.  “And now the numbers have kind of jumped up a lot more.”

The University of Michigan and Tulane University continue to be some of the most popular schools, with nine and seven students attending, respectively.  Fifteen students attended the University of Michigan from the 2014 school year, and 11 went to Tulane.

“I do know that while the University of Michigan  is much larger than Tulane, they are both very spirited, which many seniors coming from the spirited Wreckers atmosphere are looking for in a school,” Lustig said.

In contrast, many schools that were very popular in the recent past are less so for this graduating class.  Boston University, which has had an average of seven seniors attend since 2011, has no students attending from the class of 2015.  The same can be said for New York University.  While seven seniors from the class of 2014 attended NYU and five from the year before attended, only three are becoming Violets next year.

On the flip-side, Washington University in St. Louis has seen an increase in its popularity.  Only two seniors from 2014 decided to attend, while there are five attending this year.

Ed MacCordy ’15 attributes the trends in college popularity to friends and family, and believes that decisions can be swayed by these people.

“During the application process, a lot of kids pick the same schools as their friends or siblings because they might have seen it and loved it” MacCordy said.  “Friends definitely help to convince others to attend, and even sharing your list of schools [that you’re applying to] increases the likelihood of more, or fewer, kids going to a certain school.”

Though students from Staples tend to flock towards a few select universities, the thousands of different schools means that every student can find the school that’s right for them.

“The variety means there is the right school for the right type of student,” Washenko said.  “Sometimes you need to put popular opinion aside and do what’s right for the student, which means going to the school that’s the best fit for them.”