We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mr. and Ms. Moses must make sure the twins qualify for the Ivy league if that’s where they want to go. Don’t want them ending “up having to go, God forbid, to Rutgers,” she writes. So the twins have had plenty of SAT and ACT tutoring at $125 per session. Of course on top of this are the fees paid for the actual testing and travel to all these places of higher learning. Plus, an additional consultant is on the job to counsel the male twin to not do anything stupid that could jeopardize his chance of admission. Moses considers the consultant a bargain at $701.25 so far.
$701.25? Around here, they want a $3000 retainer.
I think things are changing, though. It's not like the old days. Although the clubby signaling part of the elite schools still is a factor in life, it's much more of a factor in social life than in the world of work and career. From an academic standpoint, the value in an elite degree is that you were able to get in there when you were 17 or 18.
It says nothing about what value you have to offer, today.
When I went to college, they interviewed to see whether you had good deportment and manners, and could discuss Milton, Rembrandt and Ovid intelligently in a conversation. You could flunk out, and everybody had tough requirements for graduation (including Math).
In the so-called elite colleges today, I think they are looking for just a few things:
1) Can this person fill the oboe slot in the orchestra? 2) Can this person help make our girls' Squash Team a contender? 3) Can the Dad write us a check for $400,000? 4) Is there any reason to take this kid instead of the Asian kid with better scores and grades and more developed talents (other than the fact that he or she isn't Asian)?
When I run for president (2020), one of the planks in my platform will be an ivy league-free cabinet. The only exception will be those who offset this liability with real military service. Being a lawyer in the military will not constitute "real service."
I know this will result in missing out on the rare ivy leaguer who might do some good, but the odds are stacked so much against that happening, that America will be far better off with a blanket policy.
In my prep school now, parents are hiring consultants that help put together "I Saved the World" projects for their darling children. As part of political correctness, the elite colleges are all looking for a "community service" component in your application. Supposedly, that will distinguish you from all the homogeneous 4.2 GPA applications they now get.
These consultants will help your kid organize a community food drive, start a website dedicated to ending world hunger, or put together other save the world projects, as well as get media coverage for all the great things your kid is doing to save the world.
I would like to think the schools could see through all this, but I don't know.
For gosh sakes, friends, every literate or semi-literate beauty contest contestant answers one question the same way ... "young lady, what do you wish for the most?" " Ohh, ummm, I want world peace [or whirled peas, as the joke goes]."
So the admissions gurus at these most exclusive colleges are just as PC ridden as the folks who conduct beauty contests.
Where does the actual knowledge of the contestant come in, pray tell?
I often suggest to friends with high-schoolers that they consider universities in Europe. They always look at me as if I am suggesting cooking the pet in the lasagna. I'm not sure why.
What could be better signaling than having tons of contacts in European business, culture, and government, and a degree from a prestigious university in a European city that everyone wants to visit?
And yes, tuition is going up over there, especially for international students. But there are still programs that are a mere fraction of US tuition, and if you can qualify as an EU citizen, you get the "in state" fees in any EU country.
That means that people who could get Irish citizenship by virtue of having an Irish grandparent have been able to get free tuition in Sweden, for example. Yes, it costs a few hundred dollars for the Irish Citizenship part, and you have living expenses to deal with.
In many programs, especially Business and Engineering, the instruction will be in English.
The best starting place I've found for looking into the advantages of different places is here: