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    #197143 - 07/24/14 05:58 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    OMG... this thread is baaaackkk! Anyway...

    "No one but me knows he fakes being well-read by thumbing through the first and last chapters of any book he hears about and obsessively devouring reviews in lieu of the real thing. He does this not because he’s incurious, but because there’s a bigger social reward for being able to talk about books than for actually reading them."

    My kid did this a lot, but it is because she is a Quiz Bowl literature specialist. Main thing she needed to know was character names, location of book, and a bit about the plot. smile Not that she didn't go on and read many of them, she did, but she also just checked out enough to learn those salient details on quite a few.

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    #197144 - 07/24/14 06:00 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I'm not so sure that it's not. The reason why I think that the behavior at the elite end of the scale IS relevant to the rest of higher ed is the phenomenon that has been driven by the crazy coming from the top end.


    Because they are at the top of the academic hierarchy.

    So, if you are lower on the hierarchy, you emulate the institutions that are better and *more* than you so that you can become more like them. Because there is a reason that they are elite and you are not.

    It's kind of sad in a way.

    Lesser institutions looking to become as much like Harvard as possible, all the while knowing that they will never *be* Harvard.

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    #197145 - 07/24/14 07:06 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: intparent]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3285
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    My kid did this a lot, but it is because she is a Quiz Bowl literature specialist. Main thing she needed to know was character names, location of book, and a bit about the plot. smile Not that she didn't go on and read many of them, she did, but she also just checked out enough to learn those salient details on quite a few.



    Which is kind of the problem. smile and frown The new goal is WINNING (the admissions race, competitions, etc.) rather than LEARNING. At least the Quiz Bowl people admit that reading summaries of works of literature is often rewarded . I guess I'm grouchy on this subject, but a big part of me asks, "What's the point?"


    Edited by Val (07/24/14 07:07 PM)

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    #197149 - 07/24/14 08:43 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Just so, Jon.

    To summarize my thoughts on this subject: it's all about promoting a false impression of scarcity.

    Oh, yes, verily-- there are relatively few seats at HYPS. That much is true. The thing is, though, is there THAT much difference between Cornell and Princeton?? Between Stanford and... Harvey Mudd? Is there THAT much difference between, say... UVA and, I dunno, George Mason?

    The truth is that the answer is "probably not."

    But that isn't going to promote much of a feeding frenzy surrounding "getting into {insert name of institution here}."

    So sure, scarcity is real. It also doesn't matter, because in the larger sense, it isn't real. There are PLENTY of seats at "good enough" institutions-- for students who are able enough to take advantage of them. When is the last time you heard of a high school student graduating in the top 25% of his or her class who "couldn't get in anywhere," hmm? Never.

    Most of the institutions doing this aren't doing it for any kind of well-considered reason, even. They're definitely not doing it so that they can be higher QUALITY. They aren't investing in the things that would lead there, quite honestly. They only care about demand, and will do anything to drive it higher so as to improve their ranking in crazy things like USN.
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    #197151 - 07/24/14 11:39 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    I wonder what kind of students the faculty want.

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    #197155 - 07/25/14 04:28 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1439
    Loc: NJ
    I am less worried about the 'brand' of a college in terms of the cachet its degrees may confer have than having my child amongst intellectual peers. In the US, at least, it is hard not to conclude that truly (based on academics) selective schools are going to have a higher concentration of genuinely high IQ students.

    The difficulty that I have is in determining the difference between a school that eggs unsuitable applicants on just so they can reject them to look more selective and those that actually are academically selective. I really do think that my child will be better off overseas in a university that still sees itself as a bastion of higher learning and one that doesn't need to stoop to the chicanery that I see here in the US.

    I came across this article on college applications that I think is cogent to his thread. Overall, I agree with the concluding paragraphs here:-

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/86560...ay-no.html?pg=2



    Edited by madeinuk (07/25/14 05:18 AM)
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    #197157 - 07/25/14 05:10 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1464
    This thread reminds me of the general discussion about education options. Having a gifted kid and whether they need specialized education. Will they do well in a general education environment? Some will. Will they do better in an environment that challenges them? Makes them think better, try harder? As a group, we always say yes to the before college part, why does it change in college? In my experience, the Harvard/Yale crowd is smarter as a group, way smarter. DH said when he went to Harvard as a freshman, he finally found his people. His housing group were highly successful, the whole group except for one. And I find them brilliant. I did not find that in general when I went to school. There were some brilliant, but not most. His classmates were most. That is the kind of environment I want for DD now and later.

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    #197158 - 07/25/14 05:25 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1439
    Loc: NJ
    Wren,

    How long ago was your husband there?

    All the evidence that i have seen here, across the internet and general media indicates that, especially at the Ivys, student demographics have shifted wildly over the past 20 years with college admissions putting less and less emphasis on academics.

    I want to hear that my impressions are wrong but being an empiricist at heart I cannot believe so right now...


    Edited by madeinuk (07/25/14 05:26 AM)
    _________________________
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    #197164 - 07/25/14 06:13 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    NotSoGifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 445
    Hmmm...I think anything less than a 2250+ SAT without a hook, and you should not bother applying to Harvard. 75% percentile SAT score on each section is 800, 25th percentile is 700+, so I don't see the decreased emphasis on academics.

    Not only should you have 2250+ SAT, but you should excel in a variety of ECs. Even then, chances of getting in are slim, since many other applicants have the same stats.

    Madeinuk, I think you will find that the elite schools in the US - maybe those with admit rates below 20% - have lots of gifted students. Eldest DD knows several PG kids, and they are now at elite schools. These kids are finally happy and challenged. There are finally some others like them, so they don't have to converse with kids like mine (who are gifted, but not anything like these kids - though they do still converse in a social sense).

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    #197169 - 07/25/14 07:26 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    DH said when he went to Harvard as a freshman, he finally found his people.


    But the question is, would he or would he not have found his people at, say, Boston College? He can only answer from the perspective of a Harvard freshman, because that's his experience. I think others here could testify to other experiences.

    Another relevant question is, would he still find his people there today? As HK has described, the student body has undergone some significant shifts. The selection arms race has encouraged a student body with some significant personal deficits... moral/ethical, self-reliance, resilience, and general mental health, to name a few.

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