Dear prospective college student: We love you. But that doesn’t mean you’re getting in.

Oct 13, 2019 by

Search letters sent by universities won’t buy you love — or a spot in the school of your choice.

Jay Mathews –

U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs, who recently declared Harvard University innocent of discrimination against Asian American applicants, used her written opinion to congratulate the school for a practice I find misleading and overdone.

Harvard, like most other colleges and universities, sends out what are called “search letters” to promising high school juniors and seniors. The letters extol each institution’s virtues. Harvard, for instance, lauds its “limitless possibilities” and “unique resources” in a search letter dated March 2019 I acquired from a recipient.

Burroughs, a Middlebury College graduate, said search letters are part of Harvard’s “extensive and multifaceted outreach efforts” designed “to help attract exceptionally strong and diverse annual applicant pools.”

I think the letters are overkill. About 100,000 students make Harvard’s search list every year. Other colleges and universities are similarly inclusive. If students check boxes on their PSAT, SAT or ACT forms permitting use of their home addresses, and their scores are good, they get letters, and often glowing brochures.

Source: Dear prospective college student: We love you. But that doesn’t mean you’re getting in. – The Washington Post

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