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Nerd fight!

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Students at the University of Chicago, MIT, and Princeton have been taking to the Internets to slam Harvard students over the school's rampant grade inflation:


    "Feel free to come study abroad in Hyde Park ... see what the big leagues are like," a student claiming to be from University of Chicago wrote in the comments section at The Crimson, which actually might be the most civil and proofread comments section on the entire Internet.

    The story notes that 91 percent of Harvard graduates graduate with honors.

    Personally, I basically think of Harvard as a feeder system for Goldman Sachs. I'm not sure I'd encourage my own children, should they by the grace of god do well academically, to go there. (Nothing against Goldman Sachs or investment banks, necessarily. Just not much career variation at Harvard these days. You go there to get rich, and that doesn't seem like enough to me.) Certainly not instead of Chicago, Stanford, a state school like Michigan or UVa, or a liberal arts school that also has the advantage of not being corrupted by college sports.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My cousin, her husband and a different cousin's wife all went to Harvard and they were talking about this 20+ years ago. She said it was not uncommon for everybody in a class to get A's and she never heard of anyone getting anything lower than a C.

    This is not limited to Harvard. I've heard similar stories about Stanford, Cornell, Emory... The thinking is that when people are paying the ungodly sums of $$$ that it costs to go to these private schools that it's in everyone's best interest to keep them happy.
  3. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Harvard very carefully considers applicants' interests in the admissions process to try to mitigate the "one profession" overload you cite, Dick, something I know from my son's application there a decade ago. He got consideration (waiting list) his grades didn't justify due to his extracurricular interest in comedy writing and performing. Whether or not they succeed I don't know as I know almost no undergrads anywhere, but the school is aware of the danger.
    I went to Wesleyan, a much smaller but equivalently elite institution. Even back then, everybody at schools like these knew that while it was hard to get in, it was damn near impossible to fail out.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Exactly. I have a friend who started college at Cal and transferred to Stanford and would go on and on about how professors at Cal wouldn't care if you failed and how much more difficult it was there than Stanford.

    He described Stanford as "tough to get an A, impossible to get worse than a C."
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    That's everything I've ever heard about Stanford too.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I bet a lot of this would change pretty quickly if U.S. News & World Report stopped weighting undergraduate GPAs so high in their graduate school rankings.
  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    This is not what I was expecting.
  8. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    I agree that it shouldn't be impossible to flunk out of Harvard, but I don't know why it's surprising that so many would receive As. Do you think everything should be graded on a curve? If a Stats professor gives a quiz on which the lowest score is 92, should that student be flunked?
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It doesn't have to be that kind of bell curve, with the same number of A's and F's. Law school is graded on a curve and nobody flunks out, either. It all depends how the school sets the parameters.
  10. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Some of us already knew this.

  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It is also highly unlikely that someone bright enough to get into one of those schools would do the kind of work that would lead to them dropping out. They are attracting serious students - like you said, they weed out on the front end. I don't think they are easy to get through. I just think that the people there are the type who are not going to drop out of anywhere.

    That doesn't mean they should all get A's, though. And I refuse to believe that Harvard students are so much better than Princeton, Chicago, and MIT students that the Harvard kids are all coming by their A's honestly while the Princeton, U of C, and MIT kids are pulling B's and C's.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I can't really speak about Emory, but I have never heard anyone say that about Cornell. It has the opposite reputation.
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