Ask A Genius 565 – Affirmative Action for the Rich (3)
March 14, 2019
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Rick Rosner: Big problem two is that kids apply – the gunners, the elite kids trying to get into the elite colleges. Back when I was applying, a kid might apply to 4 colleges, like a psycho kid trying really hard.
Now, those same kids average, at least, 12 applications to 12 colleges because it is easier to do since you’re doing it via computer and because everyone else is doing it. So, when I was applying to college, in 1978 or failing to apply as I had a nervous breakdown, 20% of applicants were admitted to Harvard.
Now, it is less than 5%. Back when I was applying, you pretty much knew if you would get in or not, a pretty good idea if you were going to get in or not. That 20% was pretty differentiated between the highly qualified and the less qualified.
But now, at 5%, you might still have 15-20% of those applicants being perfectly qualified for Harvard, but, now, you’re only taking 5% of elite applicants. Now, the applicants don’t know if they get in.
They apply to Stanford, and Northwestern, and Harvard, and MIT, and Yale, and Washington as a safety school. The level of panic increases every year among people who know what they’re doing.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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