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Rwandan teen gets 4 Ivy League acceptances

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Replies to: Rwandan teen gets 4 Ivy League acceptances

  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    edited April 6
    Here we go, again. I'm outta here, this time. I can't stand it. We're either singing to the choir, or else to people who just can't /won't hear at all.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 8,479 Senior Member
    @Ilovecherrypies clearly didn't read my link about the white midwestern young man who did the same.
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 1,534 Senior Member
    I have no issue whatsoever about the young woman's admissions, but I do with this:
    All these universities are private universities - if they choose to admit 100% of the kids from Rwanda - it is their right to do so. Neither the US govt. nor we own them or determine their actions. If you do not agree with the students they choose to admit, how about expressing your outrage and not applying to these institutions?

    Disagree completely. These universities receive significant taxpayer support both in taxes avoided as a non-profit and in terms of funds provided for financial aid and research. None of the elite schools could remotely sustain themselves at their current spending without this support, so I find the concept of they can do whatever they want to be ludicrous.

    And guess what? They know this too. It is no accident that international undergraduate admissions at elite schools tends to hover at around 10%. The pool of highly qualified candidates outside the US is much larger than within the US, and they are being very selective there to keep the percentage within bounds. Because they know that otherwise, there will be outrage.
  • PostmodernPostmodern Registered User Posts: 918 Member
    Disagree completely. These universities receive significant taxpayer support both in taxes avoided as a non-profit

    So do you feel that every non-profit is subject to the same standards?
  • khanamkhanam Registered User Posts: 603 Member
    @hebegebe no. what we gain from institutions like this far outweighs anything we give up by having them be tax exempt. It's not even close. Some of the biggest contributions to medicine, sciences, economics and other fields have come from these. These are institutions in the truest sense.

    Let them be. I don't think we need to police them. We get enough from their existence.

    @katliamom is spot on. Uchicago, MIT, Caltech, Berkeley, Stanford are also in the same category. We can't let these schools not aim to get the best. We all benefit from then attracting away the best of other countries.
  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 Registered User Posts: 3,351 Senior Member
    I think some here do not value diversity. If they were applying to these schools today and that attitude shined through their application they wouldn't get into these schools.

    And I don't mean because the kid wasn't a URM or international. I mean because they didn't invest their time to become exposed to diversity. Because they didn't show compassion for the common good. Nor did they learn and grow from those experiences - because they never had them.

    Note an exotic trip for a week and an essay doesn't count....
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    edited April 7
    While the applicant has many great qualities and I have nothing but praise for this awesome lady, I do not agree with an attitude of some posters that getting a 29 in ACT is great just because she is from Rwanda and she lacks resources to study for ACT. Please don't mistake or twist what I am saying: I think 29 in ACT is very respectable score for anyone. But I think she could have gotten even a higher score if she had put in more time and effort, and I do not feel that 29 in Rwanda is equivalent to 36 in USA. The reason I say this is from the article she says she prepared for ACT and is now helping others prepare for ACT. I do not think she got into top US schools because the colleges felt that her score was great but because they took all circumstances into account and ended up really admiring and liking her. From the article, it's clear that she prepared and studied for ACT before she took the exam; it's not as if she didn't study for it and just took the exam.

    One thing i am curious is why other Rwanda students didn't get accepted by other top colleges because the article says there were other Rwanda students who obtained higher scores in national examinations. It does appear from the article that she attended a high school that lacks resources compared to other high schools in Rwanda, so she comes from a disadvantaged high school in Rwanda, so this and the fact that she was raised in a single parent family probably helped her.

    In conclusion, I have nothing but great admiration for her and anyone who tries to do something special; and she deserves all the attention she's getting. I hope she follows through with her goals.

    As an aside, I believe where there is a biggest difference between poor students and relatively well-off students is the types of their ECs because some ECs require money and parental involvement and connections. I mean if some kid worked as an assistant on some Spielsberg or George Lucas movie, the chances is that this kid's parents used some connections to get the kid working in that movie. I do not believe that in this day and age where there is internet, that kids lack resources to study for ACT or SAT just because they are in poorer locations. Sure, they may not be able to afford expensive prep courses but don't tell me you cannot get great scores by studying by yourself. I personally know a family who could/should have used some of their connections to help their kid have great ECs but didn't do it, not because they didn't believe in doing that but because they were told by their private high school counselors who kept telling them "Don't worry, your kid will get into a top school for sure." The father told me if he had known that his kid would get rejected and waitlisted from his dream school (Brown), he WOULD HAVE used his connections to help him build great ECs, so he actually feels badly about this. However, their kid is doing great at another school and getting 3.9 gpa and doesn't even want to transfer to Brown anymore.

    Unlike some, I also sympathize with the pressure and stress that rich kids are under, whose Ivy graduated parents might be expecting their kids to go to HYPSM. That's not something to laugh at either. I lived long enough and got to know both rich and poor families to know that sometimes it's harder for kids who grew up in rich families to succeed. It's not always a curse to have grown out in a poor family because it teaches many important things that money cannot buy.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 21,849 Senior Member
    edited April 7
    You'd really need to see how any one kid's app/supps can differ from the vast bulk of them, (even among the vaulted top performers.) There's an idea that flashy or expensive ECs are more 'special.' But they're really just activities. Otoh, some kids are involved in causes, projects, efforts of a sort where even small commitments add up in meaningful ways. A pattern (this does not preclude rounding.) They take a chance, stretch, have some impact. And when they pull this together for the app/supps, in the manner they express themselves, it can be so much more impressive than just the usual same old hs box.

    The tippy tops can like how a kid thinks and the (record of) actions that back that up (show, not just tell.) In those cases, so what if the score is 29? You look at academic rigor and grades, LoRs, to see if the kid has the ongoing attributes that will make them succeed at an elite. Not just one score number. (And also, it's not the composite as much as individual scores.)

    Clearly, several top schools thought this gal had the full 'it."

    And many low SES kids or those from challenged circumstances are still out there doing and achieving. It's not all about impressive ECs connecting to parents and money. Sometimes, it's more about inspiration.

  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 2,722 Senior Member
    @ClarinetDad16 That is my impression as well. Some seem to want colleges to simply rank applicants by an index arrived at by combining SAT/ACT and GPA (taking into account rigor) and admitting 1-X based on that index score. What an awful college that would be!
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    edited April 7
    I think Cal Tech comes closest to looking at scores, gpa, students' achievement and ECs in science and their passion for the Science, and no one would say Cal Tech is an awful college. To be fair, no college just looks at GPA and standardized test scores, and they all look at something more, but what I AM saying is that Cal Tech comes closest among top schools to just focusing on academic items. I am not even sure Cal Tech would take into account other things. I obviously believe schools like Cal Tech has a place and admire them greatly for their refusal to not take legacies, athletes and whatever they are doing or not doing.

    Maybe Cal Tech is an "awful" college to some, not sure, since everyone has different tastes.
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