Life Beyond the Elite
Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions by Jeffrey Selingo
Scribner, September 15, 2020
As a new school year and admissions cycle kicks off, many students and families are wondering how to navigate an often stressful and emotionally-charged college admissions process. Jeffrey Selingo hopes to demystify the process by offering a glimpse into the admissions practices at three schools: a selective private university (Emory), a leading liberal arts college (Davidson), and a flagship public university (University of Washington). As Selingo explains how these schools shape a class, he also explores many of the changes to the admissions process over the past century – the rising popularity of early decision, the fixation on U.S. News rankings, the preferential treatment given to legacies and athletes at many selective colleges – and why they have increased our collective anxiety. Who Gets In and Why seeks to redefine rejection not as a reflection of a student's worthiness, but rather as a reflection of that school's institutional priorities in a particular year. As we seek to guide students and families this year in our roles as teachers, advisors, coaches, and counselors, let us follow Selingo's lead to help students and families expand their understanding of what a "good college" is and understand that "there is life beyond the elite, prestigious, brand-name schools."