College: Rejection from An Ivy League School

I recall from Garrison Keillor, from his Lake Wobegon series…  ” Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”  This humor seems to fit with the satire in the video. Is this satire? Absolutely!  In an article I read recently, it said that if they took the tier 2 or tier 3 rejection lists from Harvard and accepted them instead of the tier 1 list, no one would be able to tell the difference!  We should be proud of students who get into the “Ivy” schools, but there are so many other excellent institutions that are also great schools.   

It is similar in my mind to buying a golf shirt with a Ralph Lauren polo label.  Truthfully, a Land’s End or LL Bean shirt is probably the very same quality… But having the Polo label is a status symbol. (When we were growing up, it was the alligator — Izod).  My point is that there are many fine students and many fine colleges just like golf shirts–in the end, finding a college that fits for you, with a good community, a chance for a major you enjoy, and a good track record for either a job, an internship, or acceptance into an institution for an advanced degree is what a student wants.  
 
In a way, there is almost a “reverse discrimination”– if these schools get so exclusive that many great kids don’t get in, then for me, I almost begin to wonder what weird “diversity requirement” some kid met to get into an exclusive school??  Are there some kids who walk into our office that are “Ivy” material? Yes.  They are the unique student, but yes, we have seen them.  What we tend to see more of are kids who are great students, but not brilliant. Kids who can do really well and will one day be great adults and contributors to our society, but may need a little extra support or a good teacher or coach to encourage them.  
 
Truly gifted students have their own unique challenges.  We get excited and welcome the chance to work with them….but honestly, we get excited, too, when we have a student who struggles to succeed!  Our job is to provide the very best options for education for the gifted, the average, and the low average student! We love when a student’s face lights up with the joy of learning, the joy of being a part of a learning community! We love when we find out a student is blossoming in their new learning environment!!
 
Is this level of satire  in this video above deserved? Maybe. Would I want to have to make the decisions as to who gets accepted and who doesn’t into Ivy’s?  Not a chance! Satire is indeed a form of flattery and there is a reason these schools can be so selective.  And, do I agree that having a diverse student body will make for a better learning community? Yes!
 
To read the original article written by student Suzy Lee Weiss and published by the Wall Street Journal, click here. To read The Today Show’s story, click here.

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