College Admissions Decision: Part 1 of 6

An unmeritocracy at best, profoundly corrupt at worst, was how Malcolm Gladwell described the college admissions process in America nowadays in a New Yorker piece in the spring.

"Not so much palaces of learning as bastions of privilege and hypocrisy," said The Economist recently on U.S. higher ed.

With the insane mass media attention on the college admissions process, it was a little surreal for me to enter the fray in spring ’05. Given my tendency to both participate in something and analyze it dispassionately at the same time, for the past two years I’ve been a saddened "victim" on the one hand and an amused commentator on the other.

Over the next week I will describe my experience.

Part 2: Does College Make Sense For Me?

Monday: "Thinking about Real-Life University"

Part 3: Visiting colleges, thinking about fit, and writing applications

Tuesday: "Telling the Ben story in 500 words"

Part 4: Thick and thin envelopes

Wednesday: "Visiting three colleges in April"

Part 5: The decision and deferral

Thursday: "Ben, I always tell people there’s no such thing as a perfect fit. This is an exception. This school is a perfect fit."

Part 6: A Major Announcement

Friday: Where I’ll be spending four years of my life

5 comments on “College Admissions Decision: Part 1 of 6
  • Where you’ll be spending 4 years of your life unless, of course, you change your mind or you add a major and it takes 5 years or you decide to go during the summer and it takes 3 or you end up getting your master’s degree at the same place. Where you’re *planning* to spend 4 years of your life.

  • …or, if you get fed up and leave after a year, and transfer five times, as I did–eight years! šŸ˜‰

    One of my best friends went to Reed, and I was always jealous to hear her stories–she had the experience and intellectual community I wished I had. I dunno how entrepreneurial they are, though. I’ll be curious to hear where you’ve chosen. I spent a year in rural Ohio, a year in Chicago, and many in Seattle…can’t say I recommend rural Ohio. Chicago and Seattle are both amazing.

  • ya ya fo real beno… get on that hyph… jet on down here and ill show you a good time… lookin forward to readin your thoughts

  • Picking a college is really hard and confusing! I did find a new web site though, that helped me narrow down my options ( based on my grades and personal interests…I love the Internet!

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