Time Magazine argues, "No one," or at least not most of those high school students (and their parents) dying to get it. Time‘s "Who Needs Harvard" should provoke thought and investigation among the thousands clamoring for Ivy League or "brand" in admissions. Unlike most media articles, it focuses not on the small percentage of hyper-competitive colleges but on the smaller ones where students receive attention from professors, a good education, and a college experience matched to their needs. The key is the match. A few quotes from the article:
- "The Quarterly Journal of Economics published a study in 2002 showing that students who were accepted at top schools but for various reasons went to less selective ones were earning just as much 20 years later as their peers from more highly selective colleges."
- "Students see a strategy: choose intimacy and attention now, and reach for the world-class research university for grad school." Another part of this strategy could be called "Save money on undergrad, and go into debt for grad school."
- "’Some of [the admissions consultants] are very helpful and are helping students learn how to tell us about themselves,’ says Lee Stetson, dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, in a rare defense of the breed." I’ll take the left-handed compliment as a sign schools are recognizing the positive role ethical admissions consultants play, but it even gets better: "working with a consultant forces students to decide who they are as they shape their self-portraits …" Amen.
- Parents need a chill pill. That’s not a quote, but it is my summary of a section that won’t fit neatly here.