St. Stephen’s says its brand value is overly exaggerated, students must not get caught in it

St. Stephen’s College may be the crème de la crème of college education for most teenagers these days but the college itself feels that its brand value is overly exaggerated and has asked students unable to meet its sky-high cut-offs released on Wednesday not to be overly disappointed as there are many other institutions that can offer them an equal deal.

“This panic (when sky-high cut-offs are released) is grossly exaggerated and stems from an exaggeration of the brand value of certain institutions. There are many other institutions that can offer a wholesome deal to these students. Some of the frustration these young people seem to experience (when not able to get into the college) is unnecessary, if understandable,” said St. Stephen’s College Principal Valson Thampu.

The highest cut-off was the 98% requirement for Commerce students wishing to pursue the English (Honours) course, followed closely by the 97.75% requirement from Commerce students for the Economics (Honours) course and then the 96.25% requirement from Science students for the Mathematics (Honours) course.

All these cut-offs have shot up substantially from those released last year, with Philosophy (Honours) registering a whopping seven percentage points increase from 84% last year, to this year’s 91% for Commerce students.

“We received 800 applications for the 10 seats we have to offer for the Philosophy (Honours) course, so we were forced to make this change. We received about 23,000 applications and we have only 400 seats to offer,” said St. Stephen’s College spokesperson Karen Gabrielle, adding that each of the cut-offs was decided by the subject departments. There are 50 seats available for Economics (Honours), 30 seats for English Honours and 50 for History (Honours).

According to the college, the interview list which will be out on Friday will have about 150 students competing for every 30 seats. There will be no second list.

Principal Thampu cautioned students that it was always course over college and individual over institution that was more important to “determine destinies” and had a word of advice for the remaining 22, 600 disappointed aspirants.

“Life is about long-term efforts and achievements, a single setback cannot be the dead-end of one’s hopes or prospects,” he said, before adding that young people these days were subjected to “endless suffering and cruelty” because of the imbalance between the “high education aspirations of the young and the commitment of an indifferent society to meet them”.

Students from other streams have to contend with cut-offs ranging from 95.25 to 96% for English (Honours), 96.75% for Economics (Honours) and 91.5 to 96% for the Mathematics (Honours) course. The cut-offs range from 89.5% to 91% for the Philosophy (Honours) course.

“Except for our Science courses, we take students from every stream for our Humanities and Commerce courses and that is why we have different cut-offs for students coming from different streams,” said Ms. Gabrielle.

The History (Honours) course requires 96 per cent from Commerce and Science students and 94.5% from Humanities with B.A. (Programme) also requiring 96 per cent from Commerce students and 90.5% to 93% from other students.

Physics (Honours) requires 95.66%; Chemistry (Honours) 95%, B.Sc. Programme with Computer Science 93% and B.Sc. Programme with Chemistry 91%.

There are separate cut-offs for SC/ST (non-Christian), Christian Scheduled Tribes Other Christians, Christian physically-challenged and other physically challenged. Church of North India (CNI) also has a separate quota. Students from CNI are substantially economically and socially backward according to Ms. Gabrielle, CNI Delhi Diocese.

“The highest relaxation we have given to any of these categories is a maximum 12%, including for sports,” she said.