Tuesday, September 12, 2006

All the Hubbub

I was surprised and dare say happy to hear that Harvard is doing away with Early Admissions. As I thought about the matter more carefully I realized that I am of two minds. On the one hand it is really not fair to work 17 year olds up into such a frenzy about college. College is important, but at 17 it is difficult and unnecessary to labor umteen hours in SAT prep courses, higher a college admissions councilor and only then actually begin to fill out the stupid apps themsevles. It is not fair to the students and not fair to those without the impulsive mothers who nag relentlessly to get their kids into the Ivy (not to mention those that lack the resources to do so). On the other hand research has shown that which college you go do does not affect your long term earning potential, so why not accept students who will be likely more committed to your establishment by forcing them to sign a binding agreement upon application? It is really quite arrogant on the part of these schools to believe that they are the sole gatekeepers of success.

My only firm opinion on the matter is that, irrespective of Early Admissions, schools should not get rid of the early application deadline which alleviates the unbearable wait from Jan to March not knowing what the future holds. They should just flatten the acceptance rates.

2 comments:

Sam said...
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Sam said...

I'm not sure if it's clear in your original post, but Harvard's early-admissions program was not binding. I think Bok was right to get rid of it—hopefully this will combat the arms race among high school students (and their preening parents) to get in. Also, I don't understand what you mean by "arrogant."