26 September 2006

Hope To Get Into A Top College?


Well, tough:

"Each year, admissions officers at elite universities face an unhappy task. They are deluged with thousands upon thousands of applicants who are bright, enthusiastic, ambitious, and well-qualified — and most of whom must be rejected. There is no pretense that the weeding-out process operates strictly according to academic merit: Schools admit that they give preferences on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic standing, and “legacy status” (for the children and relatives of alumni). But even so, a public assumption of rough meritocracy prevails: Overall, the best students are supposed to end up at the best schools.

In The Price of Admission, Pulitzer Prize–winning Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Golden sets out to explode this supposition. He argues that the college-admissions process has been deeply corrupted by the rich and the powerful. His mission, as advertised on the book’s inside cover, is to “explore[] favoritism at the Ivy Leagues, Duke, the University of Virginia, and Notre Dame, among other institutions.” From his exploration, he concludes that privileged applicants — the pampered children of wealthy parents and alumni — are given huge advantages in admissions offices at our nation’s elite colleges. This, he charges, is fundamentally unfair — and even downright un-American..."

 

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