The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College
In the fall of 1999, New York Times education reporter Jacques Steinberg was given an unprecedented opportunity to observe the admissions process at prestigious Wesleyan University. Over the course of nearly a year, Steinberg accompanied admissions officer Ralph Figueroa on a tour to assess and recruit the most promising students in the country. The Gatekeepers follows a diverse group of prospective students as they compete for places in the nation's most elite colleges. The first book to reveal the college admission process in such behind-the-scenes detail, The Gatekeepers will be required reading for every parent of a high school-age child and for every student facing the arduous and anxious task of applying to college.
By BeachReader - November 24, 2002
I agree with the reviewer who is an admissions officer that this book could have been about any private college. The methodology and procedures are the same everywhere, I am sure.The book only reinforced what I already believed...that parents of those kids who are not star material are the ones who end up paying the bills for those who are at elite private colleges. I am one of those parents who paid! AS Steinberg says: "To help offset their financial losses due to increased costs for financial aid, colleges initiated an intense search for other 'customers' who could pay full price, whether from the U.S. or abroad."I think the author did a marvelous job of making this a really interesting book, and immediately recommended it to my sister and brother, who both have boys in high school now. I did warn them, however, that what they read might be somewhat discouraging.First, these admissions officers are very subjective (and how could they be anything else?)with a huge... read more
What is better? The overachieving 6 or underachieving 8?
By P. Meltzer - February 27, 2003
First, let me say that I thought that this was an excellent book and would recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in the college admissions process. Second, I was surprised at how many of the reviewers seemed shocked--shocked!--that applicants got bonus points for coming from minority backgrounds. Was this some kind of revelation? However one thing that surprised me a little bit is how--even moving beyond race entirely--the more advantages you have had in life, the more disadvantageous it will be for your admissions process. For example, I was unaware that having successful parents would be, in essence, held against you on the theory that more would be expected of you. While other reviewers have (jokingly?) said that they would advise their white kids not to check the "Caucasian" box, I might advise my (still very young) kids to say that their parents have been unemployed their whole life. I suppose that the main issue which this whole process really boils... read more
The god's do play dice with the universe
By A Customer - May 19, 2004
I read this book and had a wide range of emotions. I will start by stating my views tend to be fiscally and politically moderate. So, I had to temper my frustration in reading a book on college admissions written by a writer for the New York Times (a decidedly liberal newspaper)and of a quite liberal East Coast University, Wesleyan. The choice of school and admission officer to shadow express a liberal bias that may not entirely reflect the view of all top Universities, but is probably true to the nature of Affirmative Action nation wide. Mr. Figueroa, the Admissions Officer, deserves accolades for the passion he expresses in his responsibilities.That said, my analysis must be dispassionate since my oldest child is currently looking at colleges. So here it is:1. The Wesleyan pie is first divided this way, 30% African, Latino and Asian students. Many deserve admission, without question, no matter who you measure them against. These are the HP (high priority) minority students... read more
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