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Want to get into Princeton? Play squash.....

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JR, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Interesting article in yesterday's Times about how, in the never-ending quest to give their kids an edge in enrolling in Ivy League schools, parents are signing their kids up for squash lessons.

    All the eight Ivy League schools have teams and hey, if you've got even a little bit of athletic ability. squash is a great game, particuarly for those small, fast guys.


    My only objection to the article is that they make squash sound as foreign as buzkashi.
  2. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Might as well just sign up for crew or sailing, while you're at it.
  3. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    ... "Looks like University of Illinois ..."
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I can't believe how competitive colleges have gotten. I have a nephew who is a junior in H.S., is a decent student and is a very competitive tennis player -- USTA ranked for his age and on a team that came close to winning the state championship. My sister is freaking, because all the schools we would have considered going to 17 to 25 years ago (she's older than me) have gotten way beyond competitive. My nephew probably doesn't have any chance of getting into the college I went to, and he is a much more impressive candidate than I was. It's whacked.

    The Atlantic Monthly did a story about it two years ago, and one interesting side phenomenon of it is that there are about 50 schools that used to have second and third-tier reputations that now are considered top flight. When, as that story that started this thread points out, four out of five valedictorians can't get into the Princetons of the world, those kids are still going somewhere, and it filters on down so that those kids who were in the top 10 percent of their class, who used to go to excellent schools, but are now getting frozen out of those schools are now going to schools that back in my day didn't have the reputations they have now. It's kind of interesting to watch as more kids are flooding the system and more schools are entering that "great school" category.

    One thing, my sister and I have discussed... Life experience teaches you this. At that age, for a lot of kids and parents, it seems like it is going to determine the course of your life. But it doesn't as much as you think. Sure, a place like Harvard opens doors for you and has a network that you become a part of that makes life easier, but if you put in the work and put yourself into situations where luck can find you, you can go to almost any four-year university and do well afterward. It's what you do afterward (it really comes down to the individual), more than where you came from, that makes your breaks. One of those squash clubs for kids mentioned in the story is near where I live. It's bizarre.
  5. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Absolutely right, Ragu.

    My wife and I talk about this all the time; in fact, I believe there was a thread on this about a year or so ago in these parts.

    It's amazing how high the bar has gotten. I mean when they're turning down 85% of the valedictorians, who's getting into these Ivy League and top-tier schools these days? Legacies?

    25 years ago, I was accepted to Cal with a 3.7 and average SAT's. Had I applied 15-20 years later, they'd of laughed my application out of the room. Our class valedictorian got into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Cal with a 4.0 and a 1,220. Today, he wouldn't have a prayer of getting into any of them.

    My son is a freshman in high school who is probably a B-plus/A-minus student. We're thinking he's bound for a state school, although he's the type who should go to a small, private school, since he's not cut out for a monster-sized university.

    As surreal as it is, Ragu's right. The name helps to a certain degree, but what you do and who you meet when you're there helps more.
  6. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    only crew for Princeton... the Tigers don't have a yachting team.
  7. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    I experienced what you all are talking about firsthand. I had phenomenal grades and test scores -- well above my class average -- and had no trouble getting into the state schools and small private schools I applied to. The small schools were interested because of athletics, too.

    But I thought about applying to BC and Northwestern before realizing that, while I'd get in, there was no way I was going to be anywhere close to getting scholarships or grants, and I couldn't afford $40K each year.

    When I talked to a guy in the application department of BC, he said that the previous year's freshman class averaged a 33 on the ACT. A fucking 33!
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