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Subject: Re: Ivy League Admissions

An Observer
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Date Posted: 07:54:52 07/05/18 Thu
In reply to: Jerrylh 's message, "Re: Ivy League Admissions" on 07:41:09 07/05/18 Thu

Jerrylh, I don't think that the positive experience of your son interviewing applicants is inconsistent with what Warrior II is saying. I am sure that the majority, if not the vast majority of kids, your son interviews are terrific young people.

Having said that, look at the explosion in the number of applicants not only to Ivy League universities, but to all colleges. It goes up every year, far in excess of the moderate pace of population growth.

As Warrior II explained, it's easier to apply more places now than it used to be. The "dumbed-down" re-centered SAT score has more kids thinking that they are Ivy material in that the full range of possible SAT scores can no longer distinguish between the merely bright and the exceptional. As more kids apply to top schools, the admission rates go down. The next generation of kids see those numbers and they feel more pressure to apply more places. It's a vicious cycle.

No doubt that many of us would not be admitted to our alma maters today. But overall, the number of bright ambitious young people is not significantly higher today. Indeed, judging by all the criticism that the millennial generation receives, maybe that number is stagnant or going down.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Ivy League Admissions

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Date Posted: 08:23:30 07/05/18 Thu

I can only reflect on my, and my son's personal experiences. I interviewed for Princeton until about 10 years ago, and in the final 5 years, I don't think I saw a single relatively weak (by Ivy League standards) applicant. However, that was not in the case in the late 1960s. If you don't have a "hook" (athlete, large parent contribution, or legacy), it is incredibly difficult to gain entrance to any Ivy League School today. Even legacies have a more difficult time. My daughter was admitted to Cornell without a hook, but was turned down by Princeton in spite of being a legacy.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Ivy League Admissions

An Observer
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Date Posted: 10:40:01 07/05/18 Thu

Jerrylh, we are talking about three different eras. In the late 1950s when you were looking at colleges, the percentage of American high school students who went to college *AT ALL* was less than 10%. For almost all college students, the decision where to attend was dictated mostly by geography. Most young people only considered colleges from their region.

The Ivy League universities in the late 1950s drew overwhelmingly from the Northeast. There were still a lot of nice, well bred but thoroughly unremarkable students on campus. Getting into an Ivy League university was not that difficult to do, no offense.

By the 1980s when your son was considering college, the Ivies were much national and international institutions.
Getting in required competing against a mostly national applicant base, though it still skewed to the Northeast. By the 1980s, getting into an Ivy League university was a genuinely selective process, though admission rates were still three or four times higher than they are now.

By the early part of this century, the common application, more generous financial aid and the "dumbed down" re-centered scale had changed the game by dramatically increasing the denominator in the admission rates. In the last decade, we're just seeing the further impact of these same influences.

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