A recent feature in The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights three Chinese students as they — and their families — move through the process of applying to an American college.
For some families in China, it seems, sending their child to college is an all-encompassing ordeal. One Chinese parent tells Chronicle reporter Karin Fischer that in China “parents will do everything, almost everything, for their child.”
This may be due to one of China’s most notorious policies — the decades-old rule that families could one have one child. While this policy was recently eased to allow parents who are only children to have two children, the vast majority of Chinese families still have only one child.
As Fischer writes (emphasis ours):
It’s also worth remembering that because of China’s one-child policy, almost everyone is a first timer to the college-application process. There are no older siblings to turn to for guidance. The first shot is the only one for both parent and child; there are no do-overs. It’s not uncommon to hear stories about students showing up for college-counseling appointments with meticulous spreadsheets weighing the pros and cons of dozens of universities, compiled by a fretful parent. One student explained: His job was to do well on the SAT. His mother handled the college research.
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