October 4, 2005

Let Me Get Back To You On The Harvard Thing

Malcolm Gladwell writes about the oddball admissions policies put in place at Harvard and other Ivies in the early 20th century. They began emphasizing character and leadership potential, not just intellectual achievement. Easier to keep the Jews out that way. [Of course, now they've got the "Asian Problem" to deal with. Charming.]

Then he goes on to talk about legacies, aka the "happy bottom quarter" of the class, and how running an Ivy is akin to managing a luxury brand.

Gladwell has high praise and cites repeatedly from The Chosen, Jerome Karabel's "remarkable history" of the admissions process at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Which is just what the new dad needs to have percolating in his head for 18 years. Thanks a lot.

Getting In/ The Social Logic of Ivy League Admissions [newyorker.com]
Buy The Chosen at Amazon.

1 Comment

Very interesting article. I guess my best hope is to get my kids to get accepted to Harvard and attend UMass. At least then I won't be bankrupted by the tuition.

I wonder if legacies end up with the same benefit that other seem to accrue by being accepted to an Ivy?

[yeah, that and, thanks to the miracle of multigenerational compound interest, a much larger inheritance. -ed.]

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