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09:16 AM on 04/04/2012
My youngest daughter just went through the process. She did not apply to any Ivies (her test scores were too low and she is homeschooled). But, she did apply to schools that have programs in her area of interest and did get into them. The point here is that a) she has a specific area of interest and b) she was motivated enough to find colleges that would cater to that interest. None of the Ivies had anything more than general studies (which she's done for the last 2 years of high school) and that would necessitate grad school and not get her a job after 4 years. She will make excellent connections in her field wherever she decides to attend. Her choice will finally depend on COA, whether or not there is sufficient intellectual rigor in the courses available and whether she can get the hands on experience abroad that she feels she needs.
My eldest goes to a top-tiered liberal arts school. Her beef is that most kids there are not "working and studying." She loves fun but, she loves to work hard. Maybe an Ivy would have been better for her. She felt that she would not find enough intellectual nurturing if she had gone to one.
The biggest point that this article above misses is that parents and children should look at the "schools" they are applying to, not just the names. This is much easier to do these days, what with the internet.
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Jody Dobis
08:30 AM on 04/04/2012
And the point of this blog was? Let's focus are energy on the high school students that didn't graduate from high school or couldn't get into a state university but were admitted to a for profit university that puts money far in front of quality. While I have great respect for our ivey league schools, we have a growing underclass that is going to overwhelm this country unless more is done to correct the imbalance between the gifted and the rest of us. When parents are red shirting their children before entering kindergarten, it tells me that some adults would prefer a statusfied culture over a one of diversity. The other shoe has ust dropped.
02:40 PM on 04/04/2012
As a parent who "red-shirted" two of his three kids, I can tell you the reasons were not for status, but for success in school. My oldest child has a summer birthday and was always among the youngest in his grade. Couple that with him going to a school for the gifted and it was a bit of a struggle.

We had the younger two repeat kindergarten and they are doing exceptionally well. We did this, not with the Ivy League in mind, but with middle and high school success in mind, with having the writing and reading skills to keep up with others at this school.
06:11 AM on 04/04/2012
I find parts of this article frustrating and seemingly incorrect. I disprove multiple items on your list. While i agree that much of the process is random luck of the draw, I refuse to believe that my acceptance were the result of a choice as random as you suggested.

I am a lower-class white girl who was accepted to both harvard and yale this year. I have never stepped foot in any sort of research facility in my life. My SAT scores are south of 2200. I did attend an expensive summer program; however, i worked two jobs during the school year and received a half scholarship to pay for it. Your answers completely ignore the fact that ivies recognize a certain kind of independent work ethic outside of the classroom. I wrote my "lame essay" on going into work at 5 o'clock in the morning on saturdays and sundays and showed that side of me.

also for those whose comments suggest that affirmative action is the reason your child did not get into school. you are clearly demonstrating both your affluence, and your ignorance. Affirmative action allows schools to consider more than test scores. Almost all of the time, students from poverty-stricken areas are provided with poorer resources than those awarded to students from affluent families. Those lower class areas are almost exclusively non-white. Consider that aspect, please.

Thank you for your time.
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Gonzo36
Pro-awesome!
10:27 AM on 04/04/2012
What part of lower-class did you not understand? You were accepted because you are very smart and poor. You had to work in high school- something the vast majority of applicants haven't done, and THAT is what the school is looking for- real life experience.
03:34 PM on 04/04/2012
Congratulations! Not just on your acceptance to two great schools, but on your work ethic. Good luck!
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bbbbjr
freedom from religion
05:43 AM on 04/04/2012
within 5 years, maybe less, no one except the student themselves and the parents will care one wit where they went to college. this of course does not apply in the VERY narrow range of occupations where academia is self reinforcing (academia for example).

get into a good school, do good work there, graduate, and then actually accomplish things in your chosen workplace.
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Jody Dobis
08:40 AM on 04/04/2012
Are ivy league schools just another status symbol or do they make a positive impact on the well being of the country. I believe in the adage that to whom much is given, much is expected. Wouldn't it be informative for the ivy league schools to publish a chart that would show the occupations that their graduates pursue when they graduate? As stated prior, the most impressive students that attend the ivy league has to be those that have achieved high grades and SAT scores in public school systems that serve the poor and disadvantaged.
09:38 AM on 04/04/2012
I would not go so far as to say that no one cares where an individual went to college. Legacy will matter for their children, it will be the asset that gets them the job interview, or into graduate school.
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hbrinn
01:38 AM on 04/04/2012
I'm not really seeing any real evidence here...
01:31 AM on 04/04/2012
I want to ask them and thanks for helping me ( if you do i'll like a video posted up as well) ask them why they are unable to submit more people?2. Are they accepting people who love to read, outgoing, and has a big curiosity ego but are average, shy, and have breadth but no depth ( due to being unable to find a passion which is what i thought colleges were for) 3. Why go college: money, discovering your way, knowledge and contribution, or other? Thank you!
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Chris1962
NYC
12:08 AM on 04/04/2012
>>>So, why didn't your child get in?>>>

Affirmative Action.
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05:24 AM on 04/04/2012
Legacy=AA for the affluent & well-connected!
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Jody Dobis
08:48 AM on 04/04/2012
If your child didn't get into their school of choice as a result of affirmative action, get over it. Life can be unfair. In a country in which 40% of the populace is living under the poverty line, it's hard to feel sad for a very small minority that may have to accept their second choice for college. It would be very easy for most of us to make a list of disadvantages we all face starting with birth. The truth of the matter is that ivy league schools are more about networking and alumni than about the actual values based on the education.
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dpkjj
Peace on Earth
12:06 AM on 04/04/2012
I feel so bad for the students today who feel such tremendous pressure to get into the "right" school ("right" meaning high prestige, of course).

I was accepted at a "Seven Sisters" college (yesterday's female equivalent of the Ivy League). My father said that with savings (he literally started saving for my college when I was an infant) and a partial scholarship, we could afford it. But he asked, "Will you be really happy when everyone else can afford clothes that you can't or can afford to go out to restaurants and spend a lot of money when you can't or talk about their summer vacation in Europe?" He was right, and I am grateful. College is about a lot more than prestige or even preparation for a career. I went happily to a state university. BTW, I became (among other things) a college professor.
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Jody Dobis
08:54 AM on 04/04/2012
Thank you for bringing us back to earth and your career choice. Unlike your father, some parents are more concerned with their status than their child's future happiness.
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dpkjj
Peace on Earth
04:45 PM on 04/04/2012
You are welcome and you are right. I was very fortunate. He died over ten years ago, and I still miss him.
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07:04 PM on 04/04/2012
I graduated from a Seven Sisters college (Wellesley) and you are wrong when you state "when everyone else can afford clothes you can't or go out to restaurants....spend lots of money...or talk about their summer vacation in Eurpoe". This couldn't have been farther from the truth and a gross generalization. All socio economic levels were represented on campus and I would argue the minority were the super wealthy and most had scholarships or loans of some sort.
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dpkjj
Peace on Earth
04:39 PM on 04/05/2012
I am glad that you had a good experience at Wellesley. I know that things are very different now from when I went to college a hundred years or so ago. Trust me, back in the day the snooty colleges were very snooty and very white and very upper crust.

Two of my own experiences: (1) one admissions officer told me "if you have to ask about scholarship aid, you don't belong here; and (2) when we were puzzled as to why I was waitlisted at one school despite an outstanding record, the admissions officer confided in my principal "we have room for only a small number of "ethnic types." (I had dark hair, olive skin and a funny last name.) Student loans, of course, did not exist.

I thank the Lord and us radicals of the sixties that things have changed so much. I appreciate your sharing your experience.
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independentvoter007
God bless America
11:45 PM on 04/03/2012
Being a girl is certainly no disadvantage. More females than males get into and graduate from college, and the entire secondary school system is designed in a way that is not conducive to boys learning.
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Thordeer
Greed has won over principle.
01:00 AM on 04/04/2012
You're absolutely correct. That's exactly why, with the same grades and scores, it's easier to get in as a boy.
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independentvoter007
God bless America
07:39 PM on 04/04/2012
And its much harder for a boy to get those grades and scores
06:14 PM on 04/04/2012
On the bright side for girls, they do have a few angles to work from that boys don't. For instance, a Caucasian female who demonstrates excellence and interest in science and engineering has an edge somewhat similar to that of a minority. Not to say that Caucasian girls should shape themselves into something they are not in order to gain acceptance to an ivy league institution. I simply mean that for those girls that fit that profile to begin with, they have a bit of a leg up.
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jeanrenoir
11:45 PM on 04/03/2012
Competition from Asian-Americans, with their Tiger Moms replacing the relentless Jewish mothers of a century ago, as well as from outright Asians, makes, and will make, getting into the Ivies and Stanford harder and harder every year as far as the eye can see. If the Ivies and Stanford went on raw academic merit, hardly any Caucasians would get in at all.
09:44 AM on 04/04/2012
Berkeley lifted their limit on Asian Americans a few years back, and the student body has never been the same.
02:20 PM on 04/04/2012
From what I've actually seen and read over the years with regard to acceptance it makes all the comments about minorities and affirmative action look like Play doh. In nursing school I saw white students who cheated constantly and let's not forget that now the SAT will finally require a photo ID after massive cheating and paying someone to take it for them. I truly wonder how many have gotten into college this way or how factual stats are when they talk about disparities among the races?
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jeanrenoir
11:31 PM on 04/03/2012
Caucasian kids are just lucky the Ivies and Stanford have informal quotas against the Asian-American kids of the Tiger Moms, who crush the caucasians in raw academic excellence, just as the Jews, who were kept out by quotas a century ago, crushed the WASPs of that day. But if you think Asian-American kids are tough competition for your Caucasian ones here, wait till your Caucasian kids have to compete with their REAL Chinese, Korean, and Indian peers, who will bury our kids in global competition because they've been working so much harder all their lives, and will keep crushing our kids with brains and effort from here on out. American parents want their kids to be "happy" above all. Asian parents want their kids to WIN in the brutal competitions of life.
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03:24 AM on 04/04/2012
I'm not so sure, from my perch here in Shanghai. American parents may want their kids to be happy, but they also want them to be fair and just. Here, stealing, cheating and lying (not to mention bribery and coercion) are all pretty much fine so long as it 'advances' you/your child, and the only shame in getting caught is, well, in getting caught, not in having actually done something wrong. So they want their kids to win, yes, but at any cost. Many Americans would find the moral cost far too high. And I think we should actually be pretty happy about that.
04:10 PM on 04/04/2012
WaiguoNuren, you make a good point. If you've read the "China Conundrum" article (http://chronicle.com/article/Chinese-Students-Prove-a/129628/) it pretty much spells this out. However, when you add the budget problems that certain universities have, it creates a window of opportunity for foreign students, regardless of moral character, to influence the makeup of a university simply because they can pay full tuition.
11:23 PM on 04/03/2012
"Colleges are also fans of "rigor," but they are averse to "robots" who studied so hard that they're now boring and obedient."

Which is why Chinese and Indians have such a hard time getting into American universities, and getting hired in the American workplace.
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Mary Poe
11:01 PM on 04/03/2012
Will someone please clarify my question: Are the Ivy League institutions conducive to socialization? Specifically, are the social opportunities as plentiful as the non-Ivy League institutions? Where I attended college--a small, Jesuit school--there seemed to be a reasonable balance between academic work and extracurricular activities.
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Uncle Bill
Socratic method survivor
10:58 PM on 04/03/2012
Getting into an Ivy League undergrad program is overrated IMHO.  There are many top notch universities to get your undergraduate degree from and if your career aims include academia, the individual department is more important than Ivy degree, (though it still holds an advantage.)  Of my close friends at U of Nebraska-Lincoln many years ago (most known nationally as a football powerhouse with but a handful of academically respected departments) several went on to Ph.D's from Yale, Texas, and Ohio State, and are now tenured faculty at respected schools.
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jeanrenoir
11:33 PM on 04/03/2012
Wall St. is run by Ivy grads, pretty much period. It's fine to fantasize about how other schools are "just as good," or some such nonsense, but savvy NYC parents know the score. That's why they pay tens of thousands for the right PRE-SCHOOL to get them onto the conveyor belt to Harvard before it's too late.
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dpkjj
Peace on Earth
11:55 PM on 04/03/2012
You are so right. I live in a community where the prestige of the college is very important, especially to the parents. They want to be able to say, "my son/daughter is at Yale/Harvard/MIt, whatever. A degree from a "hig-profile" university really isn't much of an advantage in career or graduate school admission (except possibly for the connections one might make).

I taught for over thirty years in the City University of New York. Our education and that of other colleges in the State University system was, in my opinion and that of the rating agencies, not only as good but in may ways superior and a heck of a lot cheaper. For one thing, our professors and those in other state university systems tend to be very student oriented. In the Ivy League and similar colleges, the professors tend to spend a lot of time pursuing grants, writing books and article, and doing the lecture circuit. Our professors did some of that, too, but almost never at the expense of the students.
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janalyce
10:52 PM on 04/03/2012
Read a story in a book written by a financial advisor. A client wanted to take out a large second mortgage on his house.

Why? To pay for his daughter to go to a "prestige" school. The advisor pointed out that the mortgage would put a real strain on the client's finances. The client insisted. His daughter really wanted to go to this school, she deserved to go to this school, because she was really smart.

How, asked the advisor, did he know she was that smart?

Because she'd just qualified for a full scholarship at an excellent state college.

!!!!!!!!!

Just read an article in the paper today, about how college loans are crushing middle class parents, graduates and even students who took them out DECADES ago and are still paying them back.

The "prestige" colleges have become over-priced status symbols for the very rich...or those foolish enough to put themselves in debt for years, especially when great state schools are available for a fraction of the price.
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dpkjj
Peace on Earth
11:56 PM on 04/03/2012
Totally agree - see my comment above.
12:27 AM on 04/04/2012
In some states, even the state schools will put you back 100K for for years. Try putting more than one child thru school. Yep, college is definitely becoming the realm of the rich.
06:14 AM on 04/04/2012
While that is the case for a lot of families, it is not always the case. I have found that the financial aid is often better at prestigious universities, while at state colleges almost every student needs aid. If I was to attend UMASS, I would have extensive loans, yet at Harvard I will pay very little each year and have no loans.