Can someone please talk to me about college entries and affirmative action?

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Posted 3/26/2013 by 2boysandwill in NSBR Board
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mtomseth
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:52:56 PM
I have heard that same complaint coming from several friends and acquaintances, whose high school seniors did not get acceptance letters from some of the schools they've applied to.

All one has to do is look at the ethnic makeup of the schools. Non-white students are still the minority at most campuses so their complaints are B.S.

Highly competitive schools turn away more people than they accept. Her son didn't make the cut.

usnamom
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:57:56 PM
I have had three sons accepted to the Naval Academy and am a moderator for a parents list serve for USNA as well....I would tell your friend that this year the Academy sent appts to about 30% less candidates than they have in previous years.

While it is the goal of the Academy to develop officers who look like the men/women in the fleet, it is also their goal to develop only the best young men and women. To do so, they try and get a broad overview of students to apply from all walks of life, race, religion and color. It is understood that every single appointee will be certain things.....an excellent student, able to perform physically as well as mentally and be a leader and if they can get each class to represent what the fleet looks like as far as race and/or color then that is the best thing for the Navy/Marines.

I am sorry that your friend is upset that the Academy didn't appoint her son. It was a very tough year, I have heard...last year they had over 15000 packets opened...and only 1500 or so appointed and 1250 or so made it to be in the class of 2016. This year is supposed to be tighter. If he really wants to be a naval officer, tell him to reapply next year. The Academy loves applicants who won't take no for an answer.


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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:01:02 PM
there are many things to factor in.

Having worked on a college campus for many years there are many reasons why student A gets in over student B.

It's not just about grades.

Some kids get in because they have stated their major on their application --maybe it's an area the college wants to grow

Some kids get in because they write a compelling essay that connected with the readers/staff in some way.

Some kids have awful grades but have contributed to society and done so much for the world and community that a school wants them...

Their might be a disabled child who beat all the odds....

Maybe an error in typing or grammar gave a kid a lower score on their application....

It also comes down to how many kids apply for a certain number of spots. All campuses want their schools to be diverse...and the national trends are showing (was at an alumni board meeting 2 weeks ago) that more white males drop out of school than any other demographic right now...

so, schools might be looking at that too.


It all depends on the school and the kids in the applicant pool.


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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:03:26 PM
Are the kids that are getting in involved in sports?

peapermint
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:07:43 PM
I think your co-worker is setting her kid up to blame others for things for the rest of his life, which is sad.

voltagain
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:12:00 PM
Does he have anything else beside academics going for him? Involved in leadership in clubs, sports, volunteer work? Just grades doesn't cut it.

FWIW, my very blonde, blue eyed son was offered a slot at West Point. His "hook"? He made the head cadet for his JROTC unit two years in a row. He was heavily invested in the activities of his school's JROTC.

If he is applying to schools where applications outnumber seats by 100 to 1 he is going to have to have more than grades to show HE is a go getter.


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usnamom
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:18:01 PM
If you are talking about USNA....yes, one of the requirements of appt is to be physically fit and hopefully that would mean athletic. The classes are usually over 2/3 full of people who were captains of an athletic team in high school. You have to pass a physical readiness test to apply. Every midshipman is supposed to be involved in a sport of some kind....varsity or club sport for the entire four years so if someone was not in a team sport during high school, it could be a rude awakening. There are some kids who are appointed who are class presidents...leaders in non team ways but for the most part, the appointees are in a sport.


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fiddlerontheroof
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:21:27 PM
She sounds like a real peach. Even if that's how she really feels, she also needs to realize, and to teach her son, that life just isn't fair sometimes. It sucks, but it is what it is. Sometimes you don't win the game, get into the school, get the girl, pass the class, or get the job. He is not going to do well in the real world if this is how he's being taught to think.

I echo other posters who ask what else does the son have going for him other than his grades? Elite private schools get PLENTY of students with straight A's. But, they're looking for people who have passion about something, sports, a hobby, volunteer work, etc. As ironic as it is, grades and test scores aren't everything. Sure, they help you get your foot in the door, but they're not the end all be all.

And, schools aren't just looking to diversify racially or ethnically, but they are also looking to diversify economically. In other words, upper-middle class kids with stellar grades are a dime a dozen, but lower-middle or flat out poor kids with good grades often grab a college's attention because they assume they had to work harder and overcome larger hurdles to do well. This goes for those kids in poor rural areas as much as poor urban areas, regardless of the color of their skin.



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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:22:17 PM

now you know what it's like to be white as others take your place in what is rightfully yours


Do you really think there is any rational discussion to be had with someone who would say something like this?




2boysandwill
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:24:41 PM

Are the kids that are getting in involved in sports?


I don't think so. My coworker's son however, was playing baseball but then stopped d/t injury. He was not a starter, but did get enough play time to call scout attention before he injured himself.

The injury unfortunately impacted his grades. He ended up with 2 B's in 1st semester as a senior. His ACT score was 99.9 per his Mom, and he took his SAT test twice because he wasn't satisfied with his first score. Retook it and of course the score was stellar.

Understandably, they are upset because he (by choice) sacrificed his social life for his grades and strongly believed it would in turn equal to college acceptance. They feel betrayed by the system and I get that, I understand it, I truly do. I'm just livid that my co-worker is using minorities and the presumed priorities that they get as the vessel to channel that anger.

HouseLady23
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:36:43 PM
When you are applying to top tier colleges - the admission process in one big crap shoot. Seriously, there are far too many highly qualified kids applying which means there are many highly qualified kids being rejected.

Many schools are choosing a more holostic approach to selecting students. They are also looking for an ethnicly diverse student population. Also, many schools give you some preference points if you are a first generation college student.

My oldest (caucasion) is a sophomore in college now. He was accepted to every school applied to. This kid was valedictorian and was an extreme over achiever in everything. Friends with virtually the same stats - weren't so lucky with college acceptances.

Though I my think my kid is great - in reality there are thousands of kids just like him.

At admit day to his university they were told - congratulations you made it here but....there are thousands just as good as you who didn't make it in. These kids all had outstanding test scores and well over a 4.0 high school gpa.

While in high school, my kid put in his stats into the 'chance me' type websites. For schools like Harvard and Stanford his stats put him at a 50% chance of acceptance. Changing his ethnic code put put him at 99% chance of acceptance.

Our experience has shown that race is definately a factor in many college acceptances but isn't anything to be truly upset about.


Darcy_Collins
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:36:57 PM
While I agree with some of the above posters that you're not going to be able to have a rationale discussion with this person. I do disagree with one of the statements though:



All one has to do is look at the ethnic makeup of the schools. Non-white students are still the minority at most campuses so their complaints are B.S.


All one has to do is look at grades and test scores for admitted students by ethnicity to see that it's not B.S. There's a difference between buying into the over the top rhetoric displayed in the OP and not acknowledging that some colleges have made a concerted effort to make sure their colleges and universities are more balanced than what would be achieved by test scores and grades alone.


Asian students have higher average SAT scores than any other group, including whites. A study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade examined applicants to top colleges from 1997, when the maximum SAT score was 1600 (today it's 2400). Espenshade found that Asian-Americans needed a 1550 SAT to have an equal chance of getting into an elite college as white students with a 1410 or black students with an 1100.



I'd just tell your friend that he's lucky he's not Asian - many Asian Americans are now hiding their ethnicity on college applications if they're not applying to race-blind schools. It's not a coincidence that schools like CalTech which are race blind are 1/3 Asian.




USA Today

I'd also remind him that life isn't fair and being born a white male in America with parents wealthy enough to send him to a private school means he's usually on the other end of that golden oldie.


2boysandwill
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:39:55 PM

Do you really think there is any rational discussion to be had with someone who would say something like this?


Of course not, but I'm trying to understand her normal (which is probably impossible).

Then I realized that even though she may be ill informed, I too will internalize her position differently because of my ethnic backround. I don't know enough about college acceptance to get into it with her either. That's why I'm asking the peas

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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:52:45 PM
I do believe there's quotas, and I also believe that there's deserving ppl that get turned away.

HOWEVER... I would tolerate *one* "you people" out of her mouth. In fact, I'd already be in the office filing a complaint with the boss/HR about it.


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2boysandwill
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:53:11 PM

I'd also remind him that life isn't fair and being born a white male in America with parents wealthy enough to send him to a private school means he's usually on the other end of that golden oldie.



You see? I've wanted to say that so many times, but always bite my tongue because she'd feel like it's a slap in the face. I do have a question though. Do you think (their financial status) will impact his financial package as well?

I bet dollars to donuts that she's waiting w/baited breath that he'd get a full scholarship somewhere. And I wonder if that is even an option for him considering they've had the financial backing his entire life to pay for private schooling.

fiddlerontheroof
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:55:56 PM

Do you think (their financial status) will impact his financial package as well?


Most definitely. Colleges generally have 2 types of aid: need-based and merit-based. He may get some merit-based awards due to having good grades, but schools also spend a lot of money on need-based aid to diversify their student population.

And, you just have to be middle class to not get any need-based aid. May family was very much in the middle and I wasn't "poor enough" for most of the need-based aid.



voltagain
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:57:26 PM
Do you think (their financial status) will impact his financial package as well?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Absolutely. No question about it. 99% of the available finanical aid goes to those most in need.. those who wouldn't be able to go to college at all without out. Only a small percent is merit based.

Of the merit based (grades and declared major; income level not considered) we have a roughly 500 applications for every one scholarship offered. None of them are full rides.


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guzismom
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:03:34 PM
My biracial daughter is still waiting for her top tier schools (Columbia, Georgetown and NYU); they haven't released regular decision letters yet. Are you sure he was rejected from all the schools or is it just that they are still waiting?

And I agree with the poster who said being Asian these days can be a detriment. My daughter considered not disclosing it.


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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:06:46 PM
Life isn't fair.

This family is clearly learning that the hard way.

That said I personally wish that ethnicity was in no way a component of *any* college admissions. The best students should get the places in the best schools. It is particularly upsetting when government schools are used to pick ethnic 'winners and losers'. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

We are coming up on 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of the 1964. At what point do we stop judging people by the color of their skin and start judging them by the content of their character?

There are many problems with the whole process of ethnic weighting of applicants to schools. It means that some truly talented and bright students (primarily Asian, to a lesser extent white) don't get the opportunities that they deserve. That said, let's be honest - those people are still very likely to succeed.

However, it also can mean that people who are given the 'boost' based on their ethnicity end up in places they are not prepared for and they fail... while they would have perhaps thrived and succeeded in a different environment. The book Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It is really eye opening on this topic.

'Affirmative Action' in college acceptance is done with the best of intentions... but it has only made people (on both sides) deeply resentful. In an effort to end racism I think it can be argued that on some level racial discrimination in the name of affirmative action has made it worse.




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Darcy_Collins
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:07:52 PM

Do you think (their financial status) will impact his financial package as well?


Absolutely - it actually may help him that he didn't get into those private "top tier" universities. Most of them are need-blind admission and all of their financial aid is based on need - NOT merit.

2boysandwill
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:39:21 PM

Absolutely - it actually may help him that he didn't get into those private "top tier" universities. Most of them are need-blind admission and all of their financial aid is based on need - NOT merit.


this makes complete sense to me. I don't think they've given each other the space to consider this piece yet. Thanks so much for your input so far everyone, I greatly appreciate all the feedback. I'll have to read that book you provided mapchic...looks interesting.

Mallie
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Posted: 3/26/2013 3:17:07 PM
Her commentary is atrocious. That "you people" comment would have sent me over the edge.

However. I do understand where she is coming from. There is a myth in this country that if a kid keeps the nose to the grindstone, has tons of leadership in extra curriculars and does it all "right", that the reward WILL be a full ride scholarship to the first choice college, regardless of race or financial standing. I've seen that myth asserted over and over and over IRL, on this message board, on other message boards, etc. Then reality intercedes and it's hard to adjust your vision to the sight before you and accept that instead of work leading to a guaranteed reward, that life is a crap shoot.

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Posted: 3/26/2013 8:11:38 PM

His ACT score was 99.9 per his Mom


I'm dying to know if she meant percentile or actual score, because the ACT is only scored out of 36. And do all schools even take the ACT score yet? When I went to college many moons ago, some didn't consider that score (just the SAT).

Annnnnnnnyhow, if you don't feel like talking to her about it, just look at her all serious and say "Gosh, you'd better take that up with a lawyer."

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Posted: 3/26/2013 9:01:39 PM
i don't think there is even a way to know if a kid's ACT score was in the 99.9 percentile range. composite scores of 35 and 36 are both considered in the 99th percentile. i don't think it is differentiated more than that, so what she is telling you is being exaggerated. also, if a kid was ale to get a 36 on the ACT, he should be able to score highly on the SAT, as well. well enough to not need/have to take it a second time.

there is all kinds of inequity in college admissions. in the end, it is up to each college to make the class that they want. if they happen to need 24 tubas that year, then 24 kids who play the tuba may take the place of 24 kids who have higher stats. unfair, maybe, but it is up to the college to decide.

another thing ... if he is a private educated kid, he is likely not going to get any need based aid. merit maybe, but top schools don't give merit aid, per se.

2 Bs in the first semester of his senior year should not impact his college admission decisions either. most schools admit students based on grades from 9th thru 11th grade.

also, at top schools, kids have to have the WHOLE PAKGAGE. and pretty much all the applicants do. so if he did not have the whole package, that would be a reason for him to get rejected. even if he has it all, they get way more applicants who have it ALL than they can possibly admit.

your "friend" sounds like not much of a friend at all. she can have those opinions, but sometimes it is best to keep them to yourself.

ca angel
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Posted: 3/26/2013 10:04:23 PM
I had a friend in HS who was incredibly well rounded. She was denied from UCLA. She petitioned (not sure exactly what the process was) and was eventually admitted for that fall. If he really has his heart set on a school that might be an option. At least see if he can get an idea of when he would need to do/show to be admitted as a transfer.
Ca angel

x2mom
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Posted: 3/26/2013 10:19:52 PM
My friend's son did not get accepted into the Naval Academy last year.
He reapplied and he got in this time. He will start in the Fall.


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Posted: 3/26/2013 10:56:22 PM
My kid got into every college, he applied except the Naval Academy. It was his #1 choice. He had a 4.45 GPA, was captain of the varsity football team, a Boy Scout, ACT score of 35, SAT score of 2220, Volunteer, class officer, physically fit, presidential nomination, congressional nomination. Yes, he had it all going for him.

Rejection letter stated to "please apply the next year but due to diversity reasons they could not offer him an appointment " that year. Yes, it actually stated "diversity reasons"

He did not apply the next year, as he said he was still going to be a blonde, white male the next year. Our Blue and Gold Officer even told us that even though the application process is blind as far as parents military careers, names, etc... Applicants get numbers for certain things. Each GPA gets a number of points, each sport gets a number of points, volunteer hours get a number of points, how you score on the fitness tests gets a certain number of points, being female gets a large number of points, being a minority gets a large number of points, etc.... The highest points are offered appointments. Then when it comes down to the last few, they start looking and stating, we only have so many females, we only have so many minorities, etc... Its the United States Navy and they can do whatever they want. They want to keep their academy mixed with the gender and racial make up of todays Navy so they can have leaders to keep the Navy strong.

Not many people drop out of the Naval Academy. Medical discharged, some, yes, but if they struggle academically, the Academy will make sure that the extra man hours are put in to make sure a candidate gets the education they require for the job.

We do know a young lady who got in the year my son did not. She had a 3.4 GPA, no extra curricular activities, no volunteer hours, presidential nomination, physical fit but did not play a sport in high school. Guess what, she is african american female. They did not turn her down. She is a sweet young lady and I wish her the very best. Last time I talked to her mom, she was doing fabulous.

Honestly was I disappointed for my son? Yes. Is he doing fabulous at the University he is at? Absolutely! He has completed 68 credit hours in 3 semesters, maintaining a 3.85 GPA and is currently enrolled in 19 credit hours. His degree will be in mechanical engineering with a math minor.

We found out when applying for scholarships. There are a lot of scholarships that are for minorities only. We did not come across one that was for "caucasian students only."

But really, it is life. My daughter has an administrator at her school. This assistant principal told me straight out that it is her "job to educate the young black people of this community"
I asked her "since she is a public school teacher, isn't it her job to educate all the young people of this community?" Her reply was "that she does not have to worry about educating the white children including my daughter because they will have many more opportunities than the young black children" Yes that is exactly what she said! You can probably guess, her and I do not see eye to eye on things.

But saying all that, your co-worker's comment stating "you people" is rude and disrespectful. She is not doing her child any service with her attitude. She needs to encourage her son to put forth the best effort he can so he will become a productive, non-entitled member of society.



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Sophikins
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:37:38 PM

He and his Mom (my co-worker) have become very distraught over the whole process considering his peers who don't have the same grades as he does have already recieved acceptance letters to Havard, Yale and other top tier schools.


Only the Early Decision/Early Action application decisions(with notifications back in December) from the Ivy league schools have been made. The Ivys all notify on March 28, which is not until Thursday. A few likely letters and athletes may know, but no formal regular decision notifications have been sent out yet. So her statement about his peers getting acceptance letters appears to be inaccurate.

Keep in mind that each Ivy league school receives 30,000 to 40,000 applications a year.

There are about 36,000 high schools in the US, which means 36,000 valedictorians.
Over 1.6 million students took the ACT. The 99th percentile would be 16,000 students.

Harvard admitted about 2000 students last year for a class of 1665.

That means that about 34,000 valedictorians and 14,000 students in the 99th percentile ACT were NOT admitted (of course not all in that group applied, but many more who were 2nd or 3rd in their class or in the 98th percentile also applied.). Not to mention the foreign students.

Bottom line is that the numbers are staggering. Even for a valedictorian and 99th percentile ACT scores it's far from a "given" to get into an Ivy league school.



M

auntkelly
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Posted: 3/27/2013 12:17:45 AM
The Supreme Court currently has two cases pending before it regarding affirmative action in higher education.The first case involves the question of whether the University of Texas can use race as a factor in determing who will be awarded certain slots in UT's freshman class. The second case involves a law which was approved by voters in Michigan and makes it illegal to use race as a factor for determing who is admitted to college. It will be interesting to see how the court rules in these cases.

Supreme Court Cases


Ginny

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Posted: 3/27/2013 3:11:16 AM
I feel like I should preface this by saying that I am a member of a minority, and my kid didn't claim minority status on any of his college applications.

Obviously the mom is exasperated. She probably realizes that even for high-achieving kids, admission is not guaranteed. So much of it can come down to what seems like a roll of the die. Look at Sophikins's statistics--even "perfect" isn't always good enough.

I think that a kid can put forth a "package" that makes him or her more attractive to a school. That might include a high GPA, ACT/SAT score, extracurriculars, and a killer essay.

But another, often overlooked and very important factor is "demonstrated interest." Highly-selective colleges know that high-performing kids will apply to a dozen or so schools, hoping to land one. If the school extends an invitation, how likely is the student to accept? Has the kid visited the campus? Is the essay generic or does it list concrete reasons for wanting to attend that university (the desire, for example, to research nano-particle inks with a particular professor)? Applying early or even something as simple as requesting information can demonstrate interest.

I have helped several kids gain admission into military academies. They have all been White, and they have all been middle class. One kid had a middling GPA and ACT score (especially for Academy standards), but he'd been in the Young Marines since he was in grade school and had always wanted to be a Marine. His essay talked about how things don't always come easy to him, but he is willing to work even harder to make up for his shortcomings and be the best officer he could be (and that his ultimate goal was a career as an officer, not just a stint as a midshipman). He used his struggles to suggest that he would be better prepared to lead as an officer because he could relate to human foibles. He talked about running before and after school even though he doesn't have a runner's body and when he'd rather be sleeping. He challenged himself with classes where he knew he'd be in over his head because he believed it could only make him better. He wrote about exhibiting patient leadership with younger Boy Scouts. His essay obviously made the Academy want to take a risk on a kid, on paper at least, who was not up to their typical standards.

The truth is, colleges want diversity. That diversity might be racial/ethnic, economic, regional, or experiential. At engineering schools, females will provide more diversity, but at liberal arts schools, males might have an edge in admissions. At the military academies, I imagine Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim applicants would have an advantage because they bring diversity. While being a legacy (child of an alum) can help at a lot of schools, so can being a first-generation college student. The diversity piece is out of an applicant's control, and this can lead to frustration.

While the mom is not voicing her exasperation in a productive or appropriate manner, I understand her frustrations. A child from an under-represented group is much more likely to gain admittance than someone with the exact same stats from a majority group. She is frustrated because she feels that her son would not be facing this uncertainty and disappointment if he were African-American, Native American, or Hispanic. It is unfair to claim that affirmative action kept her son out of his top choice schools. But with his stats, affirmative actions would have all but guaranteed him a spot if he were a member of a minority class.

Here's an interesting article on the Naval Academy that might give you a little more insight to her frustrations:
The Racism of Diversity

usnamom
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Posted: 3/27/2013 3:39:49 AM
My sons were all great students, varsity wrestlers, played a variety of sports, all three were team captains of at least one sporting team, one was an ASB officer, two were in the top 3% of their class, all three scored above 680 on the math portion of the SAT and over 650 on the verbal, two were appointed to WP, the Coast Guard Academy and all three were appointed to the Air Force Academy as well as USNA and they are also minorities. Which might have helped get them into the Academy but it didn't help them to stay all four years. They still have to get the grades, keep their military grade high, follow the rules etc no matter what race or sex they are. It is a disservice to their hard work for someone to think that the reason my sons are or will be Naval or Marine Officers because of their race. They have worked extremely hard and made many sacrifices to achieve what they have. But kids who are considered quality applicants for any service academy are going to be successful at any college.

During the last few years more and more kids are not being given second chances at USNA...if you screw up or are not SAT (2.0 GPA) you stand a very good chance of being separated. The fleet is smaller now and they are being way more selective before they commission anyone. If a student cannot handle the workload, they are counseled and they can seek help but this year, if a Youngster (sophomore) is teetering on not being SAT in his major classes or having some problems then they have been separated before they sign their commitment papers, and it doesn't matter what race or sex you are.

It has been my son's experience that females have a much easier time at Navy. They are not required to perform athletically at the same level and are given more consideration when sexual problems arise such as harassment. But they understand that the pendulum swings hard in each direction and someday, it will swing back to the middle and everyone will be treated alike.

Most of the time I don't care if someone says that the only reason my sons were appointed to an Academy is because of their skin color, as long as they also understand that they will graduate because they deserve to.


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Posted: 3/27/2013 5:34:23 AM
I seriously doubt the naval academy didn't accept him due to affirmative action.

The way I understand it (and i may be wrong here)is you have to have a recommendation from
Your governor then the naval academy only takes 1 or 2 people from each state each year.

Did he have the recommendation letter from the governor?

As for the other schools, was he well rounded? Did he do extra curricular activities and sports?
Does he do a lot of community service?
Was he involved in clubs at school?

It's not enough to be JUST very gifted. Well rounded is very very important

And just because he's very gifted, how were his test scores? His grades? His recommendation letters from teachers?

There are a lot if factors that go into play and I'm guessing he just didn't measure up.
No snark intended here.

I hope he gets into something acceptable to him


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Posted: 3/27/2013 6:03:30 AM

She sounds like a real peach. Even if that's how she really feels, she also needs to realize, and to teach her son, that life just isn't fair sometimes. It sucks, but it is what it is. Sometimes you don't win the game, get into the school, get the girl, pass the class, or get the job. He is not going to do well in the real world if this is how he's being taught to think.



This.

and the "you people"? I'd tell her in no uncertain terms to pound sand.

melissa
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Posted: 3/27/2013 6:44:26 AM
Regarding scoring at the 99.9th percentile on the ACT, they actually do send out a letter to those who are at the very top. I know someone who received such a letter this year, thought I don't know his actual score.

And I am with the others, I don't know how they know all their results yet. The boy we know who had that amazing ACT score, fabulous SATs, super competitive summer fellowship and some amazing international level community service, was waitlisted at an Ivy early decision (might have been early admission). He's waiting on final results. Oh.. I forgot to add, he attends a well known private school and is just an all round brilliant kid.



Jadie
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Posted: 3/27/2013 6:52:44 AM
2boysandwill, I would not be discussing her son or his college issues with her anymore if I were you.Sounds like she is a big whiner, and a racist one at that! Maybe she should worry more about what kind of person she is trying to teach her son to be, rather than what college he can get into.

She needs to step back and think about what kind of a role model she is being for her son. Is she teaching him to be compassionate, empathetic, kind, decent? Is she teaching him to "play well with others" and respect the feelings and rights of others? Or is teaching him to be a whiny, "life is so unfair" little racist?


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maryannscraps
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Posted: 3/27/2013 7:14:06 AM
You say he's in an elite private school? There's another diversity limit on admissions. A friend's daughter went to Philip's Andover, where 120 students applied to Harvard and 2 were admitted. Harvard does not want an entire class to be made up of only Andover students.

I think that as a previous poster said, there are lots of types of diversity that a college is looking for in their class, not just race. He and 20,000 other stellar students didn't get accepted for any number of reasons.

In my daughter's high school class, the valedictorian didn't get into any of her top choices -- out of the 8 schools she applied to, she only got into her last choice. She never got less than an A in high school and had top test scores. People ranked lower than her in class got into those schools. It happens -- those students had something the college was looking for.

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Posted: 3/27/2013 7:17:37 AM
Thank you for sharing your "in the know" about this subject, Karen.



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Posted: 3/27/2013 8:09:03 AM
wow! this is all really interesting. you've gotten some good information here (aren't the peas so cool - they just know EVERYTHING!!).

i don't know what to tell you about how to deal with your coworker. can you ignore her? she's obviously stressed, obviously full of misinformation, and obviously being rude to you.


TheOtherMeg
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Posted: 3/27/2013 8:59:47 AM

by: mapchic

Life isn't fair.

This family is clearly learning that the hard way.

That said I personally wish that ethnicity was in no way a component of *any* college admissions. The best students should get the places in the best schools. It is particularly upsetting when government schools are used to pick ethnic 'winners and losers'. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

We are coming up on 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of the 1964. At what point do we stop judging people by the color of their skin and start judging them by the content of their character?

There are many problems with the whole process of ethnic weighting of applicants to schools. It means that some truly talented and bright students (primarily Asian, to a lesser extent white) don't get the opportunities that they deserve. That said, let's be honest - those people are still very likely to succeed.

However, it also can mean that people who are given the 'boost' based on their ethnicity end up in places they are not prepared for and they fail... while they would have perhaps thrived and succeeded in a different environment. The book Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It is really eye opening on this topic.

'Affirmative Action' in college acceptance is done with the best of intentions... but it has only made people (on both sides) deeply resentful. In an effort to end racism I think it can be argued that on some level racial discrimination in the name of affirmative action has made it worse.


Awesome post!



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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/27/2013 9:30:02 AM

The way I understand it (and i may be wrong here)is you have to have a recommendation from
Your governor then the naval academy only takes 1 or 2 people from each state each year.

Did he have the recommendation letter from the governor?


Member of Congress, not Governor.

There are several sources of appointments to the service academies.
Each incoming class at a service academy has 100 presidential appointments.
A small number (5?) come from the office of the vice president.
The superintendent of each service academy has a small number of appointments given in his name.
A number of appointments come from the prep school that is associated with that particular service academy.
A small number of available seats are set aside for current enlisted or reserve members of the armed forces.
A small number of seats are available to students currently enrolled in ROTC.
The vast majority, though, come from appointments from our Senators and Representatives. Each MOC (Member of Congress) has, on his/her website, the application for a nomination to a service academy. One who is applying sends in a packet that includes whatever that MOC requests -- usually an application, letters of recommendation, and an essay. The MOC selects his/her top choices, does interviews (typically), and chooses who gets the appointments.

The whole process is quite daunting, for sure! My oldest son applied to the Naval Academy, and did not get selected. He started the process again the following year, but about 3/4 of the way through decided he actually was quite happy in his ROTC program and withdrew his USNA application. ROTC has been such a good thing for him. He is finishing up his junior year of college. I have seen such amazing growth in him because of his leadership experiences.

My middle son (in my avatar) is a plebe (freshman) at West Point. He had a presidential nomination.


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hop2
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Posted: 3/27/2013 9:53:48 AM
The truth is that there are tons and tons of bright kids with great grades and test scores out there. What else does this boy have going for him??

There is a big to do in my community this year as a football player is going to Harvard. Early acceptance to play football made official in Feb. The class valedictorian with an astronomical sat score did not get accepted. People are all up in arms about how unfair it is and how the school should not be putting sports above education.

What they don't realize is that, the football player who was accepted to Harvard has a pretty good SAT score AND has straight A's in all honors classes for 4 years, in addition to his football skill and state ranking in not only football but a winter sport as well. Maybe not the highest GPA like the valedictorian but he had great grades. You need more than great grades to get into a competitive school. Today it's all about what else you have to offer. What differentiates you.

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Posted: 3/27/2013 10:43:20 AM
Thanks for that, hop2.

I was accepted to Ivies over students with higher GPAs than I had. Some of them swore it was an affirmative action thing. They didn't know what was in my application profile. That application is what was exciting to those schools. I was accepted not only for my academic ability, but for the "content of my character" - a character that was shaped by being a daughter of immigrants and a woman of color.


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Posted: 3/27/2013 10:46:23 AM

You need more than great grades to get into a competitive school. Today it's all about what else you have to offer. What differentiates you.


Exactly!

The young man that was valedictorian of my twin sons' graduating class not only had the grades and the test scores, he was also the captain of all three sports that he played, president of the honor society, and was involved in lots of activities. He was the whole package. He applied to three Ivy League schools and was accepted at all three.


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2boysandwill
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Posted: 3/27/2013 10:49:22 AM
thanks so much peas for all of your valuable insight and perspective. I truly, truly appreciate it and it's helped me see things differently.

My co-worker can be nice, but for the most part has no filter. She has no concept of how her opinions can affect others and the college admission process has really put her on edge making her statements seem THAT much more irrational. If and when she starts on me again (because she will) I'll just have to tell her to stop because I am likely to internalize her comments much more differently than anyone else (in my office) because of my ethnic background.

To answer some of the questions. Yes, he got a congressional nomination. Yes, he was in the 99.9999 percentile, I think they got a letter also. I can't remember his SAT score, she said it once before and it was an exceedingly high score. He played baseball, but then became injured. He is in 1 school club, but can't remember his volunteer/community activities, I know his mom became frustrated some time ago because she felt he was lacking in volunteer activities (he was a sophomore/junior at that time). I know he is involved greatly in his church and I'm sure he eventually picked up a lot of community service through them.

He didn't like his interview with Harvard because he found the interviewer too self absorbed and obnoxious. He felt the interviewer mostly talked about himself vs. ask questions about him and his goals.

Yesterday was full of college talk and she unloaded on anyone and everyone who would listen. She even said the naval academy probably denied him because they felt they weren't his first choice. Which in her mind, made sense considering her kid has everything going for him. She'll admit the naval academy was not his first choice, but what interested him in the program was the level of academics. She said they were devastated because everything was going well, they got the congressional nomination, all personal interviews went well, he said the physical exam went well. In short everything was going as planned until the denial letter came in the mail.

I finally told her why not call to at least verbalize his commitment to the program? At least this way, her son would feel like he did everything he could. She shot that became

CnBsmommy
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Posted: 3/27/2013 11:11:40 AM
I know that we are making sure our kids are very well rounded in high school because it is so competitive. They are in multiple sports, AP/honors classes, volunteer, DS will have his Eagle Scout, school clubs, & they will both have paying jobs to put on their applications. Grades don't cut it anymore.

If the friends son isn't that athletic I can't see him being able to stick to the rigors of an Academy appointment.

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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/27/2013 11:25:01 AM

She'll admit the naval academy was not his first choice, but what interested him in the program was the level of academics.


Then is it safe to assume he didn't apply for a Navy ROTC scholarship?

I know when my middle son was going through the West Point process his admissions counselor was quite vocal about his feeling that if you were applying to West Point but you weren't also applying for the Army ROTC program then you were applying for the wrong reason. The point wasn't to become a West Point grad; the point was to become an Army officer, and West Point was one of several ways to make that happen.

If your coworker's son didn't also apply to Navy ROTC maybe The Powers That Be weren't seeing the level of commitment to the Navy that they wanted.

My son's dream was West Point, but he had a 4-yr Army ROTC scholarship to the University of Kentucky in his back pocket as a backup plan.


~~Kaye~~

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2boysandwill
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Posted: 3/27/2013 11:34:47 AM

Then is it safe to assume he didn't apply for a Navy ROTC scholarship?


No, highly doubtful. I've never heard this component brought up during their application process.

redayh
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Posted: 3/27/2013 12:06:20 PM
Just thought I'd chime in and let some of you who don't seem to realize it know that affirmative action was designed to battle sexism as well as racism. So let's stop all the pretending that non minority women did not get a huge benefit from the practice. Also, "diversity" is based on more than race.

That is all.

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Posted: 3/27/2013 12:23:46 PM
It's not just race or sex. It's also location that's part of the demographic. That fancy prep school can be working against him. A lot of the selective schools will only take so many kids from Exeter and Choate and then move on to the high schools in Oregon or Louisiana to make a diverse student body at their university.

Sounds like this mom is bitter and not willing to face the reality that her money can't buy everything for her child anymore. Sometimes the answer is no. And sometimes grades aren't the only thing. And no, it's not the black or hispanic person keeping you out. Good freaking grief. How terrible that she would even go there. And to your face!


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




mdoc
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Posted: 3/27/2013 12:54:20 PM
Top schools get enough qualified applicants to fill their entering classes many times over. That being the case, they have the luxury of building a class that is diverse in many areas, because they think it benefits the school and the students. So the gifted tuba player, the Hollywood child actress, the kid who already holds umpteen patents and the kid from North Dakota might get in over students with slightly higher grades and SAT/ACT scores who don't have such a "hook." It's about more than academics, because many of the students who are not accepted have more than acceptable academics and could easily be successful there. Those schools are a crapshoot, and they've never pretended to accept solely on great academics.

Your coworker needs to get over it. She's not doing her son any favors by going on about the unfairness of the situation. It could be that the kids who got in are more qualified in other areas the schools are looking at than her son, even though her son may be marginally more qualified academically. Or maybe not. College admissions (and life) are not fair. It's one of life's lessons, and her son needs to learn to do the best he can on things he can control, and not obsess about the things he can't.
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