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The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College Hardcover – 1 September 2002
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About the Author
Jacques Steinberg has been a staff reporter for The New York Times for more than ten years and currently is a national education correspondent. In 1998, he was awarded the grand prize of the Education Writers Association for his nine-part series on a third-grade classroom on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Jacques Steinberg has been a staff reporter for The New York Times for more than ten years and currently is a national education correspondent.
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At least at Wes it seemed (and seems) that unless one's application has some unusual feature that the school is looking for that year (a particular athlete or a particular musician or a particular tough background that was overcome) the road to admission will be challenging.
An area that did surprise me was the emphasis on the family of the applicant...and the degree to which an applicant was held to a higher standard if their parents were deemed to be college fluent. I guess this makes sense and actually provides a leveling of the playing field but it was surprising none the less.
It may also be surprising to some that these days you don't just need to convince the gatekeepers that you could be successful at the school..you must also show how your presence would enhance the school. This is of course an enormous burden for most teenagers.
Like it or not this is the reality at many "top" schools. If you or your child is applying to college you owe it to yourself to read this book....either to understand the game or to make an informed decision not to play.
So it was a pleasure to read -- and it will also prove immensely useful to parents. One common theme kept repeating: take the hard courses, even if it means lower grades. Another: having a passion is a real plus, but the rest of the record can't be a disaster. But those are just the beginning.