College Log, Entry IV

the 0.57%

A few days ago, a man said to me: “You guys are in the Ivy League. You’ve got it made. How many college students get to say that? 1%? Less than 1%? You guys are fortunate.”

I did a little casual research. Just typed in a few requests to Google and came up with some rough figures:

There are approximately 20 million postsecondary students studying in the United States, both full and part time. Of those, about 114,000 attend one of eight Ivy League institutions (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, U Penn, Columbia, Cornell, Brown). 114,000/20,000,000 = 0.57%. So, there really aren’t that many of us in the grand scheme of things. But does that make us special?

I don’t think so. Not objectively. But being an egotistical human, I certainly like to think so, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Not a day goes by that I don’t contemplate how fortunate I am. There were 20,000 applicants to the Dartmouth Class of 2019. I was one of about 2,000 offered admission. Out of ten applicants, I was the one selected. How’s that for an ego-booster?

I pray to God every day that I make the most of this opportunity, but in the meantime, I want to find something to say to those who put a little too much stock in numbers (especially those beginning the college application process - hats off to you). Here’s what I’ve got from my own personal experience: I applied to Williams College (of Massachusetts), a school with an acceptance rate of about 17%, and was waitlisted… and yet Dartmouth has an acceptance rate of 10%. One thing I draw from this is an impression I’ve come to firmly abide by in regards to the college admissions process: in addition to finding good students, schools are also looking to build a class with all the right components. That means a certain amount of each “type” of student. I’m not talking affirmative action, I’m talking the whole package. Admissions staff want to build classes with a wide variety of worldviews, talents, all sorts of traits: atheist, Muslim, Christian, math-and-science orientated, bilingual, trilingual, history buffs, musicians, athletes, bookworms… the list is eternal.

My closing advice in this brief little rant is this: if your goal is to get into a good school, apply to lots of them. Odds are, one of them will be looking for you.

Everyone has the potential to be special, and don’t let a rejection letter define you. Especially one from an Ivy, because we’re all uncool snobs anyhow :P

Im so proud of my friend Harold for this. We should be so proud to see a young black man succeed to this extent. He was accepted into ALL 8 Ivy Leagues and then some. Harold is fricking amazing and I’m proud to know him. He will go on to do amazing things in life. Black excellence at its finest. Another #BLACKOUT post.


America’s Best Business Schools 2015

An MBA is a major investment at an elite school such as Harvard (above), where one costs more than $300,000 in tuition and foregone salary. MBAs have become slightly less valuable after the 2008 financial crisis, but grads from the best schools still earn back their investment, on average, in four years. Here are the top 20 based on their return on investment.


10:01 pm, thursday, 31 march 2016:

all my decisions are finally out! i’m shell-shocked. adding yale, columbia, brown, and dartmouth to the list! so much luck, privilege, support from others, and elbow grease played into these acceptances. it’s now decision time. i’m so so so happy that this process is over. hope ivy day wasn’t too stressful. seniors relax! we did it! congrats to everyone on their acceptances and decisions and hooray for education!

also, particularly pumped about the john jay scholar from Columbia! though it’s so mysterious – there’s almost no info about it on the internet. anyone know what that’s about?


Federal Complaints:

  • Penn State University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Harvard Law School
  • Princeton University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Amherst College 
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Southern California
  • Occidental College
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Swarthmore College
  • Hanover College
  • University of Connecticut
  • Cedarville University
  • Emerson College
  • University of Virginia
  • Carnegie Mellon University

Completed Investigations:

  • University of Montana
  • Yale University

Controversy over handling complaints:

  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Missouri
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Indianapolis
  • Florida State University
  • Columbia University