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(The Daily Beast)   The Wall Street Journal goes full Onion as it publishes an open letter from a high school senior to all the colleges who rejected her application   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 168
    More: Asinine, Wall Street Journal, Amy Chua, onions, University and college admissions, bake sales, college application, disaster recovery, war correspondents  
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16144 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Apr 2013 at 9:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-03 09:49:14 AM
Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.
 
2013-04-03 09:52:49 AM
rack.1.mshcdn.com
 
2013-04-03 09:52:52 AM
I think she has a good point.  There's a lot of hypocrisy in college admissions nowadays.  Students are rewarded for trying to be someone they're not, rather than for excelling at doing the things that they want to do.
 
2013-04-03 09:53:05 AM

sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.


To quote the author of that pile "Hear Hear".
 
2013-04-03 09:53:10 AM
That's a lot of douchebaggery in one letter...
 
2013-04-03 09:53:19 AM
It hasn't been that long since I was accepted to college (10 years), but I don't remember it being that difficult... I took a few honors courses, didn't sit around and smoke weed all day every day, and surprise: I got into a good school!

Sure, if you didn't do anything in high school you might have had trouble, but those people didn't really want to go.  I don't think I knew anyone from my graduating class who wanted to go to college, but didn't get in anywhere.

As long as you're not ONLY applying to Ivy league status schools, you should be able to find a good fit.
 
2013-04-03 09:53:34 AM
daily beast/WSJ aside, the letter does make a good point. The higher-ed industry is a ridiculous place.

The higher education system needs to be reformed. We need to stop making it all about profits, we need to educate our kids about how you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll get you as far in life as not having a college degree at all (I'm looking at you, philosophy majors). We need to stop the stigma of vocational schooling in lue of high school. We need to stop compounding so much debt on the kids who do want to go through college so that they don't have to keep paying off the loans until they're in their mid-40s.

The younger generations are completely screwed with our education system. We keep going on and on how we absolutely, positively need to have an bachelor's in something,anything, as long as it's a bachelor's. and then, 3 years into our 4 year degree, we get told that the degree is utterly useless and you were better off going into this degree or that degree, or hell, if you just worked your ass off in a factory or something, you'd be making a shiatload more and without all the student debt by now.

Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.
 
2013-04-03 09:53:40 AM
Avoiding $100,000 Of Debt? Sounds Like Hard Work Paid Off!


/Why Is My Phone CapitAlizing Every First Letter?
 
2013-04-03 09:53:46 AM
Or just volunteer you lazy biatch
 
2013-04-03 09:54:15 AM

sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.


Disagree, that was hilarious. And accurate.
 
2013-04-03 09:54:18 AM

sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.


The real letter shows that it was tongue in cheek, and the writer admits underachievement.

Regardless, this young lady's unworthiness of an ivy league education doesn't make college admissions policies any more sensible.  The overvaluation of extracurricular activities have contributed to income disparities in top colleges, as well as outright fraud in the application process.  It's been this way at least since the 80s, possibly longer.
 
2013-04-03 09:56:08 AM
I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.
 
2013-04-03 09:56:12 AM
so your parents never gave you an extracurricular activity, except swimming and karate which you quit on, and you couldn't go find something on your own that interested you.

That's all I'm getting form this, anyone else reading something else?
 
2013-04-03 09:56:44 AM
I didn't volunteer, have internships, have a family connection, or any after school activities beyond golf and school newspaper.  I applied to two schools, Duke (sucks) and GT. I was never going to go to Duke, but I applied for the hell of it just to see if I qualified.

Got in to both and never bothered with another school application ever again.

How are people making it this difficult?
 
2013-04-03 09:58:11 AM

Nickninja: It hasn't been that long since I was accepted to college (10 years), but I don't remember it being that difficult... I took a few honors courses, didn't sit around and smoke weed all day every day, and surprise: I got into a good school!

Sure, if you didn't do anything in high school you might have had trouble, but those people didn't really want to go.  I don't think I knew anyone from my graduating class who wanted to go to college, but didn't get in anywhere.

As long as you're not ONLY applying to Ivy league status schools, you should be able to find a good fit.


I did some accounting/Excel temp work about a year ago for a foundation in Anaheim. They do medical stuff in Africa. One of the things that allows them to survive is the constant stream of unpaid interns, who are all 16-18 years old and still in high school. I talked to several of them, and they all validated what the lady said in her letter.
 
2013-04-03 09:59:49 AM

HMS_Blinkin: I think she has a good point.  There's a lot of hypocrisy in college admissions nowadays.  Students are rewarded for trying to be someone they're not, rather than for excelling at doing the things that they want to do.


Tough shiat.  Life is not a big invitation to do the things you want to do.  Or, if that's your goal, don't be surprised if people aren't lining up to give you the fruits of their own labor.

Life's hard.  It takes work.  And success, be it educational, financial, athletic, etc.., is the result of hard work and sacrifice.  That's sort of the opposite of what most people (all generations) would prefer doing.  The difference is the current generation is being given a different message.

To the author of the letter: It's easy to claim everyone else is faking it and it's all bullshiat.  The reality is others are probably working harder and sacrificing more to achieve their goals.  Is there some fakery and bullshiat? Of curse there is, there always has been.  Is it ALL fakery and bullshiat?  I suspect not.  Want to get into college?  Turn off HoneyBooBoo / Real Housewives / reality shiatshow du jour and read a farking book, you nimrod.
 
2013-04-03 10:01:15 AM
She is wrong
There is no evidence that warren has any Indian blood

But she is right to use her as an example. Just need to notch it up a bit.
 
2013-04-03 10:01:46 AM

FARK rebel soldier: sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.

Disagree, that was hilarious. And accurate.


With respect to Ivy League schools, I agree.  Their admissions process is a thinly veiled system of weeding out applicants who are academically where they need to be, but who are not the children of the "establishment".

There are a lot of excellent non Ivy league schools though which don't have this level of insanity in admission though.  The situation she's describing really only applies if you just haaaave to go to Haaaaavard.  U of M took me (and my B's and my extracurricular activities that just amounted to activities I actually enjoyed like Mock Trial and theater).
 
2013-04-03 10:01:51 AM
These days, a nearly-perfect GPA is the barest requisite for an elite institution. You're also supposed to be a top notch athlete and/or musician, the master of multiple extracurriculars.  Summers should preferably be spent doing charitable work, hopefully in a foreign country, or failing that, at least attending some sort of advanced academic or athletic program.

So doing more than the bare minimum is too much work for this girl? Maybe if she had SOME kind of extra-curricular life to show that she was doing more than going through the motions, but from the sound of her letter, she lacks focus, drive and ambition. I'm sure a high end college wants those kinds of students. Yeah, maybe they have a ridiculous amount of expectations, but it sounds like this girl did absolutely nothing.

Regardless, this chick could have bothered to do at least the littlest bit of prep for her higher ed dreams. Seriously, it's like she didn't bother to talk to ANYONE about what might have been expected of her. I actually have zero sympathy for her.
 
2013-04-03 10:02:16 AM
Funny ... I also graduated in 1989 and would have had no shot at getting in to the college I went to in 2013.  I spent every free second of time from the day I turned 14 working my ass off to pay for myself, and my parents were too busy with managing a failing business and taking care of two elderly parents who moved in with us to worry about driving me to some bullshiat after-school activity.  I like to think I did just fine in undergrad, and looking at all of my peers who were the product of "Tiger Moms", I can say with certainty I've been a far more productive adult.

The problem with college admissions - and "higher education" in general - is that it's run by people who on the whole have never, ever participated in the actual world, and have spent every moment of their lives from age 5 on wrapped in the suffocating, insulated world of "education".  They wouldn't have a clue what it takes to be an actual contributing member of society.
 
2013-04-03 10:03:11 AM
Or you could just go to a regular school and be a normal well-adjusted human being instead of hyperventiliating over the fact that you're not super number #1 best amazing kid.
 
2013-04-03 10:04:13 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.


This.

Ivy Leagues Leagues do work well, however, for validating the expression "It's not what you know, it's who you know".  If you need a job that relies on the latter (like politicians), you may do better at an Ivy League.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:04 AM
I'm sure if the admissions officers discounted all those other factors that she'd be accepted right in instead of the other thousands and thousands of other kids who are just like her.


Go to Amherst and then enjoy your career selling oranges on highway off-ramps.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:22 AM

somedude210: Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.


Work hard, take difficult, unpopular majors that have a proven track of financial success, such as engineering, accounting, etc.. Realize that you will stat on the bottom rung of the ladder and your first 5 years will be sucky drudgery, JUST LIKE EVERY GENERATION BEFORE YOU.  You will work long hours for low pay.  Realize that you will not: become CEO in your first year, invent Facebook, get a million dollar signing bonus, succeed as a professional actor/musician/athlete, etc..

This is as it has been, and should be.  Don't expect anything different.  And the next person that says, "just follow your dream, do what you like"?  Slap them.  Hard.  And ignore everything else they say.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:34 AM

swankywanky: so your parents never gave you an extracurricular activity, except swimming and karate which you quit on, and you couldn't go find something on your own that interested you.

That's all I'm getting form this, anyone else reading something else?


Yup. And she doesn't even mention her grades. I suspect somewhere in the C+ range...

This reminds me of the white suburban kids with rich parents and B+ GPAs who sued U-Mich over affirmative action.

/3.94 and worked for it
 
2013-04-03 10:05:34 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.


Bingo.  My father gave his very similar advice.  And it worked really well---I went to a small mid-tier school for undergrad, where I was able to get an academic scholarship and work closely with faculty.  That experience helped me get into a top-flight grad program where I am today.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:41 AM
I went to a state university as a non-trad on the G.I. Bill after dropping out of college a few years earlier because I couldn't afford it and I had a whopping 1.8 GPA. I didn't know what to do with my life, so I joined the infantry.

I can safely say that my alma mater didn't give a fark about my extracurricular high school activities.

Now, I review applicant resumes every day as part of my job. So long as you didn't attend a degree mill, I really don't even care where you went to college. There are just as many dumbasses attending Princeton as there are Boise State, believe me. Why get hung up on rejection?
 
2013-04-03 10:06:44 AM
www.patriciaebauer.com
You never go full Onion!
 
2013-04-03 10:07:53 AM
And right now those colleges are celebrating the fact that they won't have her passive aggressive bullshiat on their campuses for the next the semesters.
 
2013-04-03 10:08:38 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.


So much THIS.  If you're going to grad school, don't bother with Ivy league. Hell, higher end non-Ivy private schools aren't necessarily any better than states.  If you know exactly what you want to do, find out what school specializes in your tiny little niche and go there. That'll give you the best bet.
 
2013-04-03 10:08:55 AM

FARK rebel soldier: sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.

Disagree, that was hilarious. And accurate.


Accurate? She did NOTHING to prep for college, or she would have seen this all coming down the pipe. She deserves this. I'm not expecting her to have logged 4,000 hours of community service on 4 continents, I'm expecting er to have done SOMEthing, and to have known what was coming in advance. Instead, she coasts through school, doesn't bother to find out what's expected, then starts crying when she's told that she doesn't qualify. It's not like Ivy League admissions are some well-kept secret that only approved people are clued into.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:22 AM
If the institution of higher learning you're trying to get into is showing a preference for phonies and over-achievers, then maybe you should count your blessings that you won't be wasting your tuition dollars there.  Your local state college offers the same exact opportunity for learning (at the undergraduate level, surely) without all of the pretentiousness and at a fraction of the cost.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:29 AM

Nickninja: It hasn't been that long since I was accepted to college (10 years), but I don't remember it being that difficult... I took a few honors courses, didn't sit around and smoke weed all day every day, and surprise: I got into a good school!

Sure, if you didn't do anything in high school you might have had trouble, but those people didn't really want to go.  I don't think I knew anyone from my graduating class who wanted to go to college, but didn't get in anywhere.

As long as you're not ONLY applying to Ivy league status schools, you should be able to find a good fit.


I didn't sit around and smoke weed until college. That should also be a tip for the kids: there's a time and a place for everything, and it's called 'college'.

And ditto what the other guy said about not going to the Ivies for undergrad - my dad was at NYU for undergrad and Yale for his PhD; which one do you think people care more about? If I get a Master's from Princeton, will anyone care that my undergrad was U of MD (besides NCAA fans who focus on the early-2000s seasons)? You'll save everyone a lot of money, too (especially if you go undergrad at a state school - I am glad I didn't end up at Rutgers not because I hate Jersey [I don't; I was born there], but because the amount of time I wasted at $8k/year feels less bad than if it'd been $14k).

And I know that HS guidance counselors are useless, but the one time they earn their keep is in college prep. Assuming they're worth a damn at all, they will have all kinds of info worth having. And don't wait until senior year to stack up those creds - I think part of the reason community-service requirements started appearing in schools is to help with that (I had to do 36 hours for each year in order to graduate - not even court-mandated!).

CSB: my junior year, I started worrying a lot about college. A 5-minute conversation with my GC cleared all that up (mostly because a 3.25 is not a bad GPA, I just went to a school where that's almost the dividing line for half of the class). At 16-17, it's not surprising that so many of them don't fully grasp how college admissions work.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:31 AM
Universities have turned the admissions office into a profit center.  They market themselves to way to many students they could not possibly accept.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:42 AM
I quit all extracurriculars my senior year and held down 3 jobs for both my Junior and Senior year. This was about 17 years ago so things may have been different, but I was sick of all the teachers pet extracurricular junkies. Their parents bought them everything. If I wanted a car or to go out on fri night I had to pay. I did have a great GPA 10th in class maybe that helped a little, but Admissions weren't solely about all this other BS.

My admissions essays all sounded like this girls letter and I got into every school I applied to including Carnegie Mellon and Yale(Chose Syracuse because I hated New Haven(and I wanted a party school LOL) and really only applied to Yale for an ego boost). My parents have a great deal of money too, but my father/mother thankfully raised me like they were poor and I love them for doing it. I cant imagine how exponentially more unbearable I would be to be around if I had been some spoiled brat.

On the other side of the coin, if you want to go help kids in Africa, go do it. Whatever floats your boat. Its alot more noble that what I wanted to do with my spare time over High School summer. Smoke weed, drink beer, try to get laid.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:59 AM

blipponaut: Or you could just go to a regular school and be a normal well-adjusted human being instead of hyperventiliating over the fact that you're not super number #1 best amazing kid.


see, now I don't think that's as widespread a mindset as you would think.

elvindeath: Funny ... I also graduated in 1989 and would have had no shot at getting in to the college I went to in 2013. I spent every free second of time from the day I turned 14 working my ass off to pay for myself, and my parents were too busy with managing a failing business and taking care of two elderly parents who moved in with us to worry about driving me to some bullshiat after-school activity. I like to think I did just fine in undergrad, and looking at all of my peers who were the product of "Tiger Moms", I can say with certainty I've been a far more productive adult.


Aren't tiger moms just overbearing "super helicopter moms"? Why in god's name are we advocating this crap. This is the crap that gave us "EVERYBODY GETS A MEDAL!!!" parenting. Fark, your kid isn't awesome and super and the best at everything, I'd be willing to bet that they want you to calm the fark down a bit and let them explore life on their own without you interfering in everything.

When we make "helicopter parenting" and "tiger moms" bad things to be, will our generations start to fix themselves.

It's like an entire generation got a giant rod up their ass and wants their kids to make up for the rod in their ass taking away the life they wanted
 
2013-04-03 10:10:00 AM
When did we stop looking at higher ed as both a privilege and something you got if you had the money to pay for it and start looking at it as a competition to see who could fluff their resume the most?
 
2013-04-03 10:12:03 AM
She sounds fat.
 
2013-04-03 10:12:23 AM

Priapetic: Tough shiat.  Life is not a big invitation to do the things you want to do.  Or, if that's your goal, don't be surprised if people aren't lining up to give you the fruits of their own labor.

Life's hard.  It takes work.  And success, be it educational, financial, athletic, etc.., is the result of hard work and sacrifice.  That's sort of the opposite of what most people (all generations) would prefer doing.  The difference is the current generation is being given a different message.


But when young people who do work for money during HS rather than non-paying work, that gets looked down upon by college admissions people.  The problem isn't that "kids these days" aren't working---it's that the admissions process values some kinds of work more than others.

I never said that hard work and sacrifice aren't important.  The problem is that college admissions places too much emphasis on doing a whole bunch of things badly rather than drilling down and focusing on doing one thing really well.  Colleges would rather have a kid who did some BS volunteer work they didn't really care about + was crappy at 3 different sports rather than a kid who had a real passion for one extracurricular activity and excelled at it, or a kid who put in lots hours working a job through the school year and the summer.
 
2013-04-03 10:14:12 AM

Priapetic: Work hard, take difficult, unpopular majors that have a proven track of financial success, such as engineering, accounting, etc.. Realize that you will stat on the bottom rung of the ladder and your first 5 years will be sucky drudgery, JUST LIKE EVERY GENERATION BEFORE YOU. You will work long hours for low pay. Realize that you will not: become CEO in your first year, invent Facebook, get a million dollar signing bonus, succeed as a professional actor/musician/athlete, etc..

This is as it has been, and should be. Don't expect anything different. And the next person that says, "just follow your dream, do what you like"? Slap them. Hard. And ignore everything else they say.


I would also toss in that you shouldn't try and do engineering, science, accounting, etc. if you have no desire to do it. If you want to major in what you love and it has no real purpose in the corporate world, then accept that you're paying for something that won't have the return you think you'll get with a bachelor's in it.

can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)

we need scientists, educators, engineers, doctors, nurses and accountants. Those should be your first priorities

/art degree? If you're the next Picasso, a piece of paper isn't going to be required
 
2013-04-03 10:14:25 AM
'Elite' schools want overacheivers and ones that look like they have rich parents. Who else is going to give them big donations? The slacker who is content with just making enough to get by or be comfortable in life?/slacker//laughs at received donation requests from my university as they go in the recycling bin///extra long slashie
 
2013-04-03 10:14:56 AM
Solution: Take away all colleges ability to award derplomas and have state or nationalized tests based on the degree you want to challenge.  If you pass the test you get the degree.  I'm not talking some multiple choice crap shoot. I'm talking about a down and dirty real test.
 
2013-04-03 10:15:06 AM
I was all prepared to hate the author of this letter.  Then I RTFA.

Dammit!
 
2013-04-03 10:15:17 AM
maybe things have changed in the 14 years since i graduated high school, but i applied to four colleges and got accepted at all of them, and i didn't have a single extra-curricular activity to my name.  i sent them my transcripts, my sat scores, and my teacher recommendations, and they accepted me based on that alone.  do colleges these days really disqualify students with good grades just because they didn't work for a charity?
 
2013-04-03 10:15:44 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.


Ivy League undergrad can land you a first job that will make you almost a shoe in for a top grad program.  If you had two students applying for a top MBA program with the exact same GMAT scores and one had a kick-ass recommendation from McKinsey - who would you choose?

While I agree undergrad doesn't matter as much for graduate school - the path it initially puts you on will give you a huge advantage as several companies will only recruit from Ivy Schools.  Sucks but that's how the world works.

/Didn't go to an Ivy League
//Still doing fine
 
2013-04-03 10:16:32 AM

somedude210: can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)


Hey, having to transfer from one of the engineering majors to management is a difficult choice. I mean, at GT that means they'll have to walk across the bridge to get to all the business classes. The engineering students have it easy since their classes are all on the main campus.
 
2013-04-03 10:16:55 AM

somedude210: Priapetic: Work hard, take difficult, unpopular majors that have a proven track of financial success, such as engineering, accounting, etc.. Realize that you will stat on the bottom rung of the ladder and your first 5 years will be sucky drudgery, JUST LIKE EVERY GENERATION BEFORE YOU. You will work long hours for low pay. Realize that you will not: become CEO in your first year, invent Facebook, get a million dollar signing bonus, succeed as a professional actor/musician/athlete, etc..

This is as it has been, and should be. Don't expect anything different. And the next person that says, "just follow your dream, do what you like"? Slap them. Hard. And ignore everything else they say.

I would also toss in that you shouldn't try and do engineering, science, accounting, etc. if you have no desire to do it. If you want to major in what you love and it has no real purpose in the corporate world, then accept that you're paying for something that won't have the return you think you'll get with a bachelor's in it.

can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)

we need scientists, educators, engineers, doctors, nurses and accountants. Those should be your first priorities

/art degree? If you're the next Picasso, a piece of paper isn't going to be required


Plan that whatever you learn, you're gonna be stuck doing it day in and day out until you retire, so pick something that's at least tolerable over the course of 40+ years.  If you have no real interest in it except for the salary you think you'll earn, your days are gonna suuuuuck and your life is gonna suuuuuuck.
 
2013-04-03 10:17:09 AM

Mateorocks: I went to a state university as a non-trad on the G.I. Bill after dropping out of college a few years earlier because I couldn't afford it and I had a whopping 1.8 GPA. I didn't know what to do with my life, so I joined the infantry.

I can safely say that my alma mater didn't give a fark about my extracurricular high school activities.

Now, I review applicant resumes every day as part of my job. So long as you didn't attend a degree mill, I really don't even care where you went to college. There are just as many dumbasses attending Princeton as there are Boise State, believe me. Why get hung up on rejection?


Your alma mater didn't give a fark about your extracurriculars for the same reason my state school didn't.  They knew I would be able to pay my tuition, in full and on time.  The GI Bill is pretty much a guaranteed entry into a state school these days.  They know you can come up with the money, and they don't have to worry about you whining about crippling debt.
 
2013-04-03 10:17:16 AM
I was expecting a letter whining about how "you should of (sic) picked me!" and how special she is... but she did have a point.

Luckily, my college selection process consisted only of "which state school is farthest away from home?" and the admission process was cake. And I don't feel I missed much. And considering I changed careers pretty quickly after graduation, I'm REALLY glad I didn't kill myself with stress and debt to attend a prestigious school.

/Southern Oregon University, class of 02 & 03
//yeah, you've never heard of it
 
2013-04-03 10:17:48 AM
She has some points, but in the end it's a basic problem of supply and demand.

Elite colleges get far more applicants than they can accept.  I work at a tier ~1.5 liberal arts school and we take roughly 1 in 3 applicants, and if you want to go to someplace with a better name those odds worsen rapidly.

Given that the vast majority of people aren't going to get in, what do you have that makes you special enough?  It could be a perfect GPA with a lot of AP courses.  It could be an extracurricular or sport.  (And talking to the admissions folks, it's a hell of a lot better to have one thing that you're really devoted to than 10 resume fillers)  It could be a life situation- minority, poor, interesting background, etc.  It could be work experience if you've done something other than work the fry machine at McDonalds.  (And yes, getting promoted after working  for a while at McDonalds is a good point in your favor)  If you don't have *something* you're not getting in.

That said, there are a ton of schools where you'll get a good education.  Work hard at a Cal Poly and you'll do just fine in life.
 
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