Having a child currently looking at colleges, the following two articles have a lot of relevancy. Both articles expose the inanity of the college admissions process, especially at the elite colleges, as well as ridicule the faux diversity rhetoric such colleges profess to uphold.
In today's New York Times, Claire Vaye Watkins discusses the inequities for high school students in rural areas looking to attend college, especially the elite colleges.
I never saw a college rep at Pahrump Valley High, but the military made sure that a stream of alumni flooded back to our school in their uniforms and fresh flattops, urging their old chums to enlist. Those students who did even reasonably well on the Asvab (theArmed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, for readers who went to schools where this test was not so exhaustively administered) were thoroughly hounded by recruiters.
My school did its part, too: it devoted half a day’s class time to making sure every junior took the Asvab. The test was also free, unlike the ACT and SAT, which I had to choose between because I could afford only one registration fee. I chose the ACT and crossed off those colleges that asked for the SAT.
- - - -
Granted, there’s a good reason top colleges aren’t sending recruiters around the country to woo kids like me and Ryan (who, incidentally, got his B.S. at U.N.R. before going on to earn his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue and now holds a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship with the National Research Council). The Army needs every qualified candidate it can get, while competitive colleges have far more applicants than they can handle. But if these colleges are truly committed to diversity, they have to start paying attention to the rural poor.
And in today's Wall Street Journal, high school senior Suzy Lee Weiss, who was rejected admission by many elite colleges, explains (very humorously) the inequity and insanity of the admissions process. I just wish she had left out that last paragraph.
Colleges tell you, "Just be yourself." That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms. Then by all means, be yourself! If you work at a local pizza shop and are the slowest person on the cross-country team, consider taking your business elsewhere.