“The elite colleges’ admissions officers are forever falling in love with the non-straight-A kids who write quirky, engaging essays, who clearly have garnered a particular respect and affection from their teachers, and who have done really interesting things on their own initiative.  At the end of the admissions hunt, though, those kids get rejected.  But their fate is not in any way a harsh one: there are other colleges in the country, lots and lots of them. [...]  The bottom line is that the majority of kids applying to these places just don’t measure up, and that is a bitter pill to swallow for them and for their parents, if they have sacrificed the pleasures of a normal adolescence for the sole purpose of getting into one of the top schools.

The Ivy Delusion, Caitlin Flanagan (The Atlantic, April 2011)

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