Ivy League sheep?

Don’t send your kids to Ivy League colleges, writes William Deresiewicz in New Republic. After teaching at Yale for 10 years, he thinks elite colleges are filled with talented, driven, anxious conformists with “little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose.”

So extreme are the admission standards now that kids who manage to get into elite colleges have, by definition, never experienced anything but success. The prospect of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them.

Bright students would learn more — and meet a more diverse bunch of people — at their flagship state university, he argues.

David Brooks made a similar argument in 2001 in The Organization Kid.

Deresiewicz has a book coming out next month, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and The Way to a Meaningful Life.

Daniel Drezner, also a professor, responds:  Entitled little shits are a minority at elite colleges.

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  1. superdestroyer says:

    One of the issues that most elites do not mention is the culture shock of going from a high school where one is at the top to a university where one may be in the top half. It does not affect the students graduation very much but probably has a huge effect on career choice and future plans.

  2. The most amusing thing about the article is how the Ivy Defense League is coming out of the woodwork.

    But his opinion about having never experienced anything but success may explain why so few seek out the military as a career. I remember my first day in Naval OCS, my company officer told us point blank that they were going to make us fail, just to see how we handled it. Not fail out mind you, but complete success was pretty much impossible. Some did not handle the stress well.