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    #248330 - 03/17/21 12:28 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: indigo]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1688
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    The removal of standardized tests as admissions criteria, has resulted in a 33%-42% increase in applications...

    the desired benefit should be: extending need-blind offers to students prepared for a rigorous curriculum, and who can recognize opportunities others may overlook while screening out students gaming the system, and/or presenting falsified credentials,

    I think that the huge influx of applications, as was was seen with Harvard ED, is the pressure of admissions officiers to go through them and make good evaluations, -- like if there are falsified credentials. It is so hard to check things now -- if they started a business etc.

    Just in the statistics that around 750 got in from over 10,000 applications, less than 1000 were rejected and 8K+ were deferred shows how hard it is to determine who is exceptional and who is not. 8K+ that seem OK to be Harvard students. They just weren't sure. And I believe all those apps are need blind.

    Without those standardized test scores, it seems that differentiating just got harder. And it seems, on college confidential, that those with scores (and good scores) got in.

    DD had to find stuff for volunteer hours and to replace a leadership plan where she was blocked. It turned out that the alternative turned out to be ten times better than what she had originally planned. And there was no way of knowing that it would turn out so good in the beginning. Sometimes you get lucky in that regard to extracurriculars. And with covid, sometimes it was almost impossible to find anything.

    I am listening to these podcasts by some woman from Toronto, class of 2019 Harvard. You pay $15 and she covers a topic. Some stuff is really good, some stuff ridiculous. Like for volunteering: you can go volunteer in a hospital. No you can't, there is covid. They won't let you in as a teen. Just an example, where her track is different than for kids now.

    And letters of recommendation. Here teachers are seeing her a handful times in a 15 week period. That was fall when it was hybrid. But since they closed down again for 6 weeks after Christmas, these teachers will see her maybe just a few times. There is no relationship. And none of the teachers she has now, she had before except comp sci. If some kids are all online, do they have any relationship with teachers to get stellar recommendations?

    I think about packaging. I look at these consultants and I don't want to pay 15-20K for stuff I don't think she needs. But I look at her summary and see a box of great stuff, but it isn't packaged like a Williams Sonoma window. I wonder if it is worth it to pay for the packaging. How to highlight the stuff she is doing. There is talk about the essay as being the packaging star, the ad jingle of your app. Is that enough with an ever surging number of applications that look like yours, where 50% of the essays are compelling since everyone knows that now. What will the articles be about in two years to strategically place your college app? Anyone have a good psychic to tell us now?

    #248338 - 03/17/21 07:04 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    mithawk Offline

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 277

    I don't have a crystal ball for how admissions will end up for everyone this year and next. What I will say is that based upon the admissions so far at our public high school, it looks pretty much like other years at this point: Three students at MIT, one or two at Stanford early, one early at Yale I know of. And since we are done with admissions, there are probably others we haven't heard about. And Ivy Day and Stanford are still coming up.

    Another way to look at it is that lack of testing has certainly muddied the waters, but it hasn't changed the number of strong kids that actually exist.

    How does it look so far at your daughter's school?

    Edited by mithawk (03/17/21 07:05 PM)

    #248343 - 03/18/21 03:02 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1688
    This year I am not in the loop and my friend said parents are quiet. Just heard of one boy got into Harvard ED. He was a typical STEM, physics Olympiad EC.

    #249420 - 12/08/21 04:36 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2639
    Loc: MA
    This essay questions the obsession with Ivies.

    The Liar’s Club: Looking Back on Princeton
    by Scott Newman
    09 Dec 2021

    #249421 - 12/09/21 06:08 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1688
    I read the piece. And, as former Wall St employee, I understand some of it but also take exception. One, I loved my career. And it was really fun, although there was a lot of work. It is much fun travelling around the world first class in your 20s, flying on private jets, going to Wall St parties of 2000 people with some famous singer performing. And being involved in structuring and creating new ways to invest. No, I did nothing to change the world. On the other hand, I created a child who is interested in deep ocean ecosystems. She wants her particular Ivy because they have research going on with Woods Hole. She hopes to go to MIT for a PhD because they also have a specific program with Woods Hole. She has a reason for why she wants to go there.
    Two, I get that many want finance yet they don't know what that really means. At DD's school, about 3 are applying to Harvard, 6 to Yale, 6 to MIT, 4 to Stanford and about 20 to UPenn for Wharton undergrad. I was shocked. Also, if I was one of the 20, I would have reconsidered and gone for U of Chicago. Better finance school and better chance. One is going for Johns Hopkins and another to Carnegie, out of the fray. That seems logical. Also, I understand this person was anxious throughout his college time, I do not know how typical he is. My kid plans to sail the first two years, be part of that community. And focus on deep ocean marine research. She wants the tough courses or she won't get into MIT for grad. She needs to build the relationships. I think parents are not talking enough with their kids to be more strategic. I told my kid, you will have to write grant proposals to get money all the time. If you develop a relationship with Woods Hole early and throughout, gives you a leg up on a well funded institution. This is part of the career planning process.
    It is not like going into medicine or law. Who cares where you go for undergrad, you just need to get into the right professional school. And yes, getting into clubs is desirable, but he should have been more about himself, not standing and criticizing. I think the article is more about him not the school. Why the whole Harvard lawsuit. They want kids that fit into that environment, not stress about it.

    #249428 - 12/13/21 06:03 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2639
    Loc: MA
    A good tweet from Kenny Xu:

    In elite universities, the "eliteness" is no longer derived from a genuine jump in intelligence but social codes that elude "non-elites" - such as allyship, disdain for meritocracy, and vicarious repentance for other people's sins.

    We are in the age of the undeserved elite.

    #249429 - 12/13/21 07:49 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1688
    When have the elite ever been deserving? When Astor killed the native Americans bringing him furs so he wouldn't have to pay them? I know someone who graduated decades ago, 15 generations Harvard. When they cared about so many generations. Totally destitute, bottom range of IQ of H grads. Buckley was a known racist. Elitist of the worse kind. But very smart.

    I think that now, with more first gen college getting admittance, the whole "who are you" assessment, you get a better class. Not just I score perfect on my SAT and all my APs so I am deserving.

    #249430 - 12/13/21 06:39 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Bostonian]
    philly103 Offline

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 95
    "Elite" in the elite universities was never about a jump in intelligence.

    It was always about a jump in social status. About wealth, social connections, history with the school, etc.

    The idea that the Ivies were ever purely about the intellectually elite is a narrative that's fairly recent. They were finishing schools for the socially elite that have gradually opened their doors to more and more of the general public.

    But because they're also gateways to financial security, the intellectually elite have always wanted access to the world they provide, the social connections, that just being smart cannot guarantee.

    I've always said that if the Ivies ever became simply about admitting the smartest kids, it wouldn't be long before they lost a significant part of their appeal. Because the smartest kids often aren't the best connected, the wealthiest, etc. The networks by which these institutions are defined would suffer.

    #249432 - 12/14/21 06:34 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: philly103]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5040
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    ... the smartest kids often aren't the best connected, the wealthiest, etc.
    Agreed. smile

    Well said.

    Related post:
    What Should Everyone Know About Gifted Education? (2013) - The posts in this thread expose common myths about giftedness, and replace these misconceptions with simple truth. The linked post discusses that GIFTEDNESS and OPPORTUNITY are two distinct items.

    #249468 - 01/16/22 07:14 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2639
    Loc: MA
    How college applicants embellish essays with sob stories, fake patents
    by Isabel Vincent
    New York Post
    January 13, 2022

    The story of University of Pennsylvania student Mackenzie Fierceton, who lost a prestigious Rhodes scholarship for allegedly faking details about her background in her application, went viral this week. But many experts told The Post it’s not uncommon for high school students to stretch the truth on their college entrance essays to get noticed by top schools.

    Some kids will claim in their essays that they “published” a novel or memoir, when in fact their parents have hired a self-publishing outfit to produce what looks like a legitimate book. Other teens will write about their “meaningful” volunteer work in developing countries, when their moms and dads have funded the trips abroad just so they can have college essay fodder. Now, some students are even going so far as to register their own patents for research they have never completed.

    “There are Chinese companies that charge a few thousand dollars and will do all the hard work for your child to register a scientific patent,” an education consultant who did not want to be identified told The Post. “And admissions folks are seeing a lot more of them as competition for schools becomes even more fierce and opportunities for extracurriculars dry up during COVID.”


    “The thing we see a lot is that kids are digging deep for hardship,” added Ron Foley, a math professor who runs Foley Prep Inc, a tutoring and college prep service which has several locations throughout New Jersey. “It forces kids to think that the hardship is the most interesting thing about them, and it may not be the case.”


    Meanwhile, some legitimately underprivileged students resist dwelling on their personal hardships and insist upon being accepted on their merits. One college essay tutor told The Post how she urged a high school student to play up her background to win points.

    “I worked with a student in the fall who actually had hardships — she immigrated to the US as a child and has seen and lived in real poverty,” the essay coach said. “But she was reluctant to capitalize on that because she didn’t want it to define her.”

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