You might assume that top universities are in the business of education, but they increasingly seem to be in the business of business. Read preview. At Princeton, alumni parents of applicants receive a letter from the admissions office recognizing that their son or daughter is in the pool and how “we’re very happy they have applied,” as Janet Rapelye, dean of admissions at Princeton, said in a recent interview. I never got a call from a public school. to the University of California at the request . And we visited those schools for events. But it really takes paying for a building or endowing a chair to have that kind of privilege. Boring math geniuses, oboe-playing poets, and rich kids from New York need not apply. I couldn’t stomach reading them.”, Current admissions officer, Ivy League university, “Some 70 percent of kids who apply are qualified to come to school here, and we have space for one in ten. So I asked him which ones, and he told me the show 90210. Most of the time you can’t predict what will push one candidate over the edge. Bush has been educated at some point at an Ivy League school — including Yale double legacy George W. Bush. Article excerpt. Some 65 percent of their student body is from other parts of the country. But those same schools are right to take diversity into account when selecting their student bodies, in part because the country benefits from a more diverse elite. He said he was an advisor on several TV shows and movies. Here is what I have found after working with kids and talking at length with many college admissions to find the college admissions secrets… These are some great tips and secrets to help you navigate the process: 1. But there are still some factors out of an applicant’s hands. Recently, that spotlight has been pointed at the Federal District Court in Boston, where Harvard is fighting a lawsuit brought by Students for Fair Admission (SFFA), an organization representing an anonymous group of Asian-American plaintiffs who were rejected from the college. One major reason: money. It was for me. It almost always comes down to whether or not you’re a likeable person. And that might be the fairest outcome of all. Did Mom go to Princeton? Now works as an admissions officer for Princeton’s graduate engineering program; former admissions officer at Cornell. For a university long considered snobby even among the Ivies — and which only began admitting women in 1969 — that’s a welcome change. If the [Pittsburgh] Steelers lost a game and I read your file the next morning, chances were you weren’t getting in. What would you say if I told you there was a simple way to improve your SAT scores by 160 points? Yale’s endowment stands at $29.4 billion. Elite universities like Princeton or Harvard are “serving two masters,” in the words of Atlantic writer Caitlin Flanagan. Which they have. But the admissions officer’s attitude is, ‘Oh, he just applied here as a safety. And they make a valid point: High-scoring Asian-Americans are very likely disadvantaged in the admissions process employed by Harvard and other elite schools. A high school senior is probably not Shakespeare, so poetry is not going to help. Harvard argues that its “holistic” admissions process — which it says takes into account nonacademic factors like personality and leadership, and which is broadly similar to the policies of other elite universities — is needed to produce a diverse student body and that those policies don’t discriminate against Asian-Americans. But why should admissions officers offer a hand to the children of alumni? People think you don't have to have a lot of savvy to work in admissions, but almost everyone at Cornell, for instance, had a PhD or masters. One option would be to simply admit more students. And they know it. Dirty Secrets of College Admissions-The College Essay . Let’s face it, some people are just more affable or more likeable than others. But who gets into these institutions makes a difference for the United States, because their graduates are so overrepresented in the country’s ruling class. Justice in college applications may be impossible, but universities can start by publicly abolishing a policy that advantages the advantaged. If you’re a legacy and you apply early to the school, you’ve got a 50 percent better chance of getting in. Congratulations — you’re a double legacy. If schools wanted to meet specific diversity goals or even ensure that they had enough linebackers and point guards to fill out varsity teams, they could do so at this stage. And that money doesn’t simply sit in a vault. Harvard College last year accepted just 4.6 percent of applicants and Stanford University a minuscule 4.3 percent. The American meritocracy is already skewed by the lottery of birth. A face-to-face sit-down with the admissions office most people don’t get. Even if such rankings were perfectly fair — and there is compelling evidence that they are not — they would not be sufficient to dictate the final selections. But the lasting value wasn’t the education — it was membership in the club. April 13, 2009 By: Category: College application essays, Get into College. Rich kids from New York, boring Asian math geniuses, and oboe-playing poets need not apply. In 2001, the year I graduated, 66 percent of Princeton undergrads were white, according to numbers reported to the Department of Education. The applicants ask us questions too — about life on campus, about academic competition, about whether we’d do it all over again. So you got to know how to use those tags to your advantage. What carries the graduates of these colleges to dominance in American life is less their own qualities than the very fact that they went to these schools, with all the attendant advantages, both during their four years on campus and in the decades that follow. In a Daily Beast exclusive, college admissions officers reveal the shameful truth about the selection process. That’s just redundant if we have his transcript. One night, I got food poisoning at a restaurant in Buffalo. In doing so, perhaps they will loosen the grip that these schools have on the United States. As such, you’ll be given a leg up when your application is judged. They just don’t want to be contacted all the time.”. 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