Ask A Genius 512 – Affirmative Action for the Rich (3)

In-Sight Publishing

Ask A Genius 512 – Affirmative Action for the Rich (3)

March 14, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

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.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from

License and Copyright

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s