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    #201153 - 09/16/14 03:17 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    There are plenty of activities for introverts. My introvert was a top quiz bowl player, on the Robotics team, fenced, collected insects, went to Davidson THINK, created art that won awards, belonged to the creative writing club, and self-studied for the US Biology Olympiad. She got in to every college she applied to, including some top schools with no positions as team captain, editor, etc. When asked about leadership, she was able to talk about leadership by example, and being a quiet leader. Some of those activities were through her school, but some were just on her own. Worked for her... don't worry if your student is an introvert, just help them find activities where an introvert can thrive.

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    #201155 - 09/16/14 03:30 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    If you are given the choice, having only ONE seat available, and you can choose:

    a) student with top grades and test scores, with a set of three or four possible majors, interest in a wide variety of activities and skill at most of them, and who has leadership potential and clearly pro-social behavior beyond his/her years, versus...

    b) student with top grades and test scores, a clear obsession for the stated major, and who has a competitive win-streak and is a bit of a social misfit and loner.

    Which of those two applicants is the better choice, really?


    You forgot to mention ...

    a) ... sprinkles magic pixie dust

    b) ... flies on broomstick, has evil cackle

    I mean, if you want to have melodramatic stereotypes, you really need to drive the point home.

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    #201157 - 09/16/14 03:47 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Dude]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Exactly, but then again-- that does sort of take some of the shine off of just what "elite" means in that educational context, then, doesn't it?


    "Elite" means "rich," obviously. The worth of a human life is measured in dollars and asset values. Hence, Walt Disney was more elite than Albert Einstein.


    I prefer the term "relevant".

    If you have more assets, you are necessarily more relevant because you are much more important to the continued smooth operation of the modern global hypereconomy than someone with no assets.

    In fact, if you do not have any assets, you are probably serving as a drag on the modern global hypereconomy, and you are almost certainly ultimately reducing competitive profitability over longer timeframes. This may be what is causing global growth itself to slow.

    If you are one of the most relevant institutions, such as the Ivy League, your primary institutional purpose is to maximize your continued relevance so that you become as close as possible to permanent and eternally relevant institution.

    Remember, at any moment, *any* institution could fall into the dustbin of history and be lost forever. No one wants a world in which Princeton ceases to exist.

    By attracting and retaining only the most relevant financial assets, the institution in question extends it's lifespan and survives so that it can continue to impart glory and profound meaning to all the generations yet to come.

    The end.

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    #201158 - 09/16/14 04:08 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    NotSoGifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 445
    HK, you have described things well. I think that some with the younger set, especially those who have not been through US college admissions themselves, have a tough time grasping what admissions officers are looking for. Heck, most of those who attended college in the US have a tough time understanding how admissions have changed in the last 30 years or so.

    My eldest knows some kids of HK's "a" and "b". Now the "b" kid who won national math contests and had published work prior to HS graduation wasn't into much else, but that kid was a rare type - truly very, very few kids (or even adults) at this level. She knew more of the "a" type, including one with near perfect SAT scores, in student government, played a varsity sport, won a national writing award, did scientific research with a local professor, won a regional foreign language award...and is a really nice, social kid.

    While the "b" type who is doing high level research while still in HS is great, there are very few "b" types at this high level in their chosen field. And my eldest really preferred hanging around with the "a" type...because the "b" type didn't even care about hanging around with other kids. Sorry, "a" type is more appealing in most cases.

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    #201160 - 09/16/14 04:16 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: NotSoGifted]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Yes, but...isn't the larger point that the US college admissions system is broken? I kind of get the feeling that this thread has started debating the merits of blue vs. green bandages as a way of treating a bullet wound. Yes, you make it look better and things will be okay-ish for a while, but you won't change the fact that there's a serious problem beneath that bandage.

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    #201162 - 09/16/14 04:24 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: ultramarina]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    EC's are a convenient means of filtering those students who likely possess some measure of desirability on that front-- who are well-rounded and socially mature enough to be good members of a learning community (inherently a social activity), and also to withstand the pressures inherent in an elite learning environment with positive coping methods.


    Jeez, I don't know. I'm going to speak up for the loners myself. (I was not actually a loner in HS and managed to check some high-value EC boxes, though not nearly as many as some of my cohorts.) A lot of high school ECs are kind of...not so appealing to a very smart kid with a low level of tolerance for BS. Unless you are at a school which has the resources to have excellent music or arts (and that's your interest), or competitive this and that of very high quality (and you're competitive--I was and am not) or are in an areas with other great opportunities, perhaps you are spending your time drawing or coding or reading or whatever. Those can be positive coping methods, too. I don't think any of this means you are going to be a poorer student than Polly the Yearbook Editor.

    This mode of thinking annoys my inner introvert. We can't all be president of Glee Club.



    I'm chuckling a bit here-- what probably isn't clear is that I don't actually think that extraverts ARE better-- just that the admissions process currently tends to be stacked against introverts for some clear reasons.

    I'm about as introverted as human beings come. whistle

    I can go DAYS without leaving my house, and happily spend that time completely silent and completely alone. I'm also pretty socially adept when I do venture forth, however.

    I don't necessarily think either of my prototypes is a stereotype or-- as 22B is implying-- a caricature of a modern college applicant. The bottom line is that those two prototypes actually DO exist in fair abundance, and they are the two most common models of students applying to elite schools.

    Val is right. I was just coming at this from the other end of things-- that is, WHAT is preferred may actually run counter to the (stated) mission of the institution, when you get right down to it, and as Bostonian and Wren pointed out, that isn't necessarily surprising, either.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #201163 - 09/16/14 04:27 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: ultramarina]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Also, you can be pro-social without being an extrovert or a leader. Lots of gifted people are introverts. This is really important to remember. (Note: both of my kids are extroverts)


    Just so-- it's that some EC's are being used as proxies for desirable qualities, and those may be imperfect correlations to begin with, and even so, have gradually eroded so as to be even LESS useful as proxies given the current sucking chest wound in the process (hat tip to Val). Gaming those things has, over time, devalued them significantly as indicators.

    It may be quite difficult to tease apart which kids are genuinely introverts who tend to lead from within/behind (as my DD also tends to do, btw), versus those students who are resume padding box-checkers who aren't taking on leadership roles which would eat up too much time (time to be spent on other boxes, of course!).

    Type "b" students are always going to be rare. The problem here is that there are ways to resemble the type "a" ones without actually being that. Then there isn't a great way to tell the authentic ones from the ones being groomed like crazy to look like them.

    So yeah-- harder tests solves that part of things.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #201167 - 09/16/14 04:51 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I don't necessarily think either of my prototypes is a stereotype or-- as 22B is implying-- a caricature of a modern college applicant. The bottom line is that those two prototypes actually DO exist in fair abundance, and they are the two most common models of students applying to elite schools.

    Each of your (a) and (b) were combinations of several characteristics. But you can mix and match some properties from each list in numerous combinations. There's no way that these two very specific types could be anything other than two out of many possible very specific types of people.

    I don't really need to know anything about the actual population of students to conclude that. It's just common sense. Your classification was in the same vein as saying:

    There are two types of people:

    (A) People who wear white shoes, orange pants, blue shirts, and brown hats,

    (B) People who wear yellow shoes, red pants, green shirts, and grey hats.

    The lists are so specific and so arbitrary, and it's so easy to think of many other possible kinds of people.

    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    If you are given the choice, having only ONE seat available, and you can choose:

    a) student with top grades and test scores, with a set of three or four possible majors, interest in a wide variety of activities and skill at most of them, and who has leadership potential and clearly pro-social behavior beyond his/her years, versus...

    b) student with top grades and test scores, a clear obsession for the stated major, and who has a competitive win-streak and is a bit of a social misfit and loner.

    Which of those two applicants is the better choice, really?

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    #201174 - 09/16/14 05:47 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Okay-- would you have preferred if I'd stated:

    applicant I is "well-rounded, and possessed of a lot of varied EC's indicating soft skills" and applicant II is "pointy but no indication of soft skills" all other things being both equal and equally desirable?


    That's really just two factors-- global ability versus singular, niche type ability, and the things that EC's are ostensibly about to begin with, that is, those elusive soft skills that matter outside of academia.

    If those two applicants are equally capable on the SAT, then what?


    Please note-- I didn't say (nor imply) that this is the only two types of students who DO apply. Merely that the archetypes are reasonably representative of at least some students applying to such institutions. Perfect test scores are nothing like an entry ticket to an elite institution these days.


    I also know which I would argue for (and did)-- but I admit that there is an argument that can be made for candidate b, as well. Candidate b may well have greater potential as an outlier, all things considered. It's just that such people may or may not positively contribute to the educational environment for their peers at an institution. KWIM?
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #201177 - 09/16/14 06:19 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma

    I also know which I would argue for (and did)-- but I admit that there is an argument that can be made for candidate b, as well. Candidate b may well have greater potential as an outlier, all things considered. It's just that such people may or may not positively contribute to the educational environment for their peers at an institution. KWIM?


    I don't think so.

    College, IME, is where the "pointies" find others with similar interests and really take off as thinkers. They may not be the biggest ones on the party scene or in the alumni association, but they are contributing socially to each other's growth, and often egging one another on academically to boot.

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