Thursday, November 23, 2006

Further evidence that Chicago's "it"

New York Magazine, hardly known for promoting anything on the cutting edge, anything other than that which is considered desirable by all NYC elites, not to mention all New Yorkers, not to mention anyone in the Western world, profiled a bunch of high-school overachievers and asked them where they're applying to college. Four out of the ten profiled are applying to the University of Chicago. Remember, these are students in New York, not in the Midwest, where the school is more likely to be on families' and schools' radars.

This sweep can be interpreted several ways. One, Chicago's getting too normal and fratty. Two, Chicago is awesome and kicking butt, go team! Three--and this is the only one of which I'm certain--it's a good thing for many of us who went to Chicago way back when that we're not applying now.

That said, the article's a brief glimpse of the god-awful stupidity of the admissions process. A student from Hunter who I'd admit to Maltz University any day is reviewed in the following way by "Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise, a school-admissions consulting company."

Her perfect SAT score is truly outstanding but not a free ticket. She is applying to many technical colleges, so she will be competing against a lot of other high-achieving math/science kids (and a lot of other Asian students in particular). While she may be admitted to MIT early, I am not convinced she’s a shoo-in—I’d want to see more evidence that she’s giving back to the community.

Oh, good grief. What about the fact that she "[v]olunteered at a Chinese prep school teaching math to eighth-graders for one summer"? In that she's so saliently Asian that this is apparently one of the crucial aspects of how she appears to colleges, "the community" is presumably the world community of Asians. So perhaps she'd better look into a way of permanently dismantling the current regime in North Korea. Then, and only then, maybe she'll have a shot at one of the lesser Ivies.

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