Sky-high test scores, straight A’s in honors classes and extracurriculars don’t guarantee a spot at elite colleges, says Jay Mathews in the Washington Post. Even high school stars are being turned away, as increasing numbers of students apply to the same list of colleges.
David Weinstein, a senior at Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, is an academic star by any definition. His grade-point average is 4.68. His SAT score is 1500. He has served as student body president and co-editor of his school newspaper, all while struggling with the challenges of Tourette’s syndrome.
Ten years ago, he would almost certainly have been ensured a place at one of the Ivy League colleges. But within two hours on April 1, as he checked the admissions messages on his computer, Harvard, Yale, Brown and Pennsylvania all slapped him with wait-list or rejection notices. Princeton delivered the bad news two days later.
Penn? He didn’t make the cut at Penn? He did get into Northwestern, Johns Hopkins and Emory.
Once he gets to college, he’ll be told to relax, go slow and enjoy learning for its own sake.