5. The Hype is the Hype

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"The Truth Behind College Admission" in today’s New York Times nails it: “It’s not that fewer students are accepted; it’s that applications have run riot.” I’ve been saying this for years. (Should have written an article!) The hype is the hype. I would add two things: 1. there has been an increase in foreign students applying to American colleges, nothing crazy but enough to lower the real acceptance rates at elite colleges a tick, but only that, and 2. colleges have become more diverse in a variety of ways and so, although the overall real acceptance rates remain generally the same, the gains and losses have not been distributed equally across the board. In fact, for some the odds of getting into an elite college has increased. This is in part because for some the odds of applying to an elite college have increased. The short version of this is that the decrease in acceptances to elite colleges–I can’t prove this, I suppose, at least not at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I’m right–has been felt disproportionally by upper middle class/wealthy white people, particular those from the Eastern Seaboard. (Woe is me and my too soon to be college bound sons.) This is a correction form one norm to another, not perfect but inching closer to a true and fair meritocracy, see also: American Dream. There are plenty of issues having to do with college that need to be addressed, don’t get me started, but in this case, the hype is the hype.

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