As the Left continues to propagate the myth that a college education is the only pathway to success, the business of college admissions has become a booming one. Overwhelmed by the process and driven by the fear of rejection, some parents will do whatever it takes to get their kid accepted to their dream school.

College consultants have lined their wallets in large cities, where parents will pay for someone to monitor every part of their student’s academic and extracurricular life, ensuring that their child’s applications stand out. One consulting company in Manhattan, founded by a former Yale University admissions office employee, was charging $28,995 for junior and senior year college counseling, and that was 16 years ago.

SAT and ACT prep has also become a growing part of this industry. While tutoring rates vary widely, one tutor is charging $1,500 per hour and apparently has a four-year waiting list. For those who don’t have the foresight to schedule tutoring four years in advance, he also offers online preparation tools for $500.

Then, there are the essay writing coaches who enhance those personal statements which would otherwise fall flat. Writing coaches can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

For the athletic types, parents will hire private coaches and even drop thousands to recruiting advisers — just to get their kid noticed.

Faced with tremendous pressure from their parents and peers, college-bound students are doing everything they can to keep their grades up, build up their extracurricular activities, prep for standardized tests, and scope out potential colleges.

With all this emphasis placed on admissions, students are ultimately left unprepared for college — and for life, in general.

More than 45 percent of students who start college drop out before receiving their diploma. While rising costs are a large part of the problem, many students are entering college without the skills they need to succeed and are left saddled with more debt than they can manage.

In high school, students are so consumed by the admissions process that they don’t prepare themselves academically for the next four-plus years, and never have the chance to think about their career path.

Could this be why the snowflake generation has found itself demanding campus safe spaces and unable to cope with failure? Or perhaps this is why many students are drawn to professors who tell them what to believe and try to shut down speakers who challenge progressive ideals. In between cramming SAT vocabulary and revising their personal statements, they were never encouraged to be independent thinkers.

Unfortunately, most colleges don’t provide much encouragement for independent thinking either.

Brendan Pringle (@BrendanPringle) is a freelance journalist in California. He is a National Journalism Center graduate and formerly served as a development officer for Young America's Foundation at the Reagan Ranch.