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The mess that is elite college admissions, explained by a former dean

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Replies to: The mess that is elite college admissions, explained by a former dean

  • wisteria100wisteria100 4406 replies49 threads Senior Member
    @privatebanker - I agree with your point on affinity groups. Important to have on campus, but they can also have the effect of building silos which is to no ones benefit.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6623 replies143 threads Senior Member
    @Trixy34 Thanks. That was very informative. It’s a different kind of state. My wife is a Pittsburgh Native. In-laws are still there. They believe there are two major northeast style cities in PA. And rural Kentucky in between. Makes for an interesting political and cultural dynamic.
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 3074 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    The within state differences can be as large as the regional differences. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach is going to be very different from northern Florida and the rest of the South. VA, at least within the DC-Alexandria-Arlington corridor, is going to have more in common with the other Mid-Atlantic states, than the South. Rural VA will be more Southern.
    edited May 2019
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  • Trixy34Trixy34 1183 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    @privatebanker - that too, but I wasn't going to go there. There is a sort of similar dynamic in NY state too with the city vs. rural political climate. But, in the end, the voters in the Cities have much more influence over the direction of the state than they seem to have in PA. (Personally, I'm getting tired of living at the mercy of the "Kentucky in between" representatives in the legislature) But I can't say I'm dying to return to NY and pay those taxes, either. Lol.

    edited May 2019
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6623 replies143 threads Senior Member
    I wasn’t just thinking about the vast experiential difference between factory towns, western PA, farming communities, Amish country and Erie. And Philly and Pittsburgh. Politics aside.
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  • Trixy34Trixy34 1183 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @privatebanker - that's true. I'm not too far from Lancaster County. It's a fascinating dynamic out this way. And then there's Philadelphia to the East - such a phenomenal city in so many ways, but with such a high poverty rate. And the high level of racial segregation despite the enormous influence the Black community has had throughout Philadelphia's history. It's an interesting place, for sure.
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  • SuperSenior19SuperSenior19 183 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Not to derail this thread too much, but @Trixy34, our school's seniors get out two weeks before the rest of the school and I'm not sure anyone knows why (the state requires a certain number of days, too, but it doesn't seem to apply to seniors). The last day of classes is always in the middle of AP testing, actually.

    And I guess I must be living in PA....if you want bad roads, try driving through Arkansas. So many potholes! In my city (not in AR), there's a lot of roads that go through different jurisdictions and you can tell exactly when it crosses into one that didn't have the money to fix roads or plow snow or mow grass on the sides.

    I didn't know that PA was like that but it seems that those are common problems in a lot of states. My family literally had a rabid fox in our yard once and they told my mother to capture it and drown it herself. Lots of roadkill issues too -- deer, dogs and cats, and even some armadillos, which area definitely not native to the area. ???
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1452 replies28 threads Senior Member
    @Trixy34 we’ve lived in seven states (NY and PA included) and there are road problems and tax problems and school problems everywhere. I’ve yet to find utopia. We came close but it was such an expensive place that it wasn’t a feasible utopia for us.
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  • PetraMCPetraMC 944 replies7 threads Member
    @privatebanker - I agree with your point on affinity groups. Important to have on campus, but they can also have the effect of building silos which is to no ones benefit.

    I'm not a huge fan of affinity groups but how are they different from fraternities and sororities? Not to bash them, as that has happened enough already, and personally I think they are adults and can join whatever group they wish. But graduates from my kids' high school all tend to join the same houses, and it's predictive almost to a comical degree!

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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6623 replies143 threads Senior Member
    @petramc. That’s a really good point. My d school doesn’t have Greek life so that wasn’t in my view.

    The Greek houses tend to attract certain students of course and there some based on race and some based on interests too. Like engineering etc that aren’t monolithic culturally .

    But that’s also a complete living arrangement and they do have parties etc open to the broader school.

    I only brought it up because th biggest affinity group at my d school is the African American and Hispanic affinity group. By far.

    And their social lives are 100 percent connected to this group and their events are not open to other students. And it just seems to extend to their entire non classroom experience at the school. No one gets to know each other in a meaningful way really.

    Also a Greek house may have 20 members this affinity group is hundreds and hundreds of kids. And even at super Greek schools it’s only 20 to 40 percent.
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  • PetraMCPetraMC 944 replies7 threads Member
    I'm sure there are variations in the Greek system overall. I was just thinking of a few chapters that might as well change their names to Upper East Side! haha
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6623 replies143 threads Senior Member
    Hah!
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  • gwnorthgwnorth 566 replies8 threads Member
    How many people who move to a foreign country end up living in expat enclaves? It is human nature to cling to familiarity.
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1446 replies3 threads Senior Member
    For some students, refuge in an affinity group early on in college makes sense. But it seems to me that as a student progresses in their classes that the "affinity group" shifts to one more aligned towards their area of study. Maybe that's wishful thinking. For other students, an affinity group centered on their area of interest can begin on day-one and the benefits of such groups are great.
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4110 replies28 threads Senior Member
    @privatebanker It is the same at my D’s school. She’s actually on the outside of her affinity group and has found it very difficult to break into because that’s not what she’s used to. Fortunately, she has an extremely diverse group of friends (which is what she’s used to). I love seeing her group pictures, and they are so different from the pictures I see most college kids posting on Instagram.
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  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 4608 replies65 threads Senior Member
    It's not just the Chinese students who come here that self-segrate. American students are known to hang out with each other on study abroad programs. Rarely do they mingle with the students of the local colleges
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  • epiphanyepiphany 8405 replies170 threads Senior Member
    It's not just the Chinese students who come here that self-segrate. American students are known to hang out with each other on study abroad programs. Rarely do they mingle with the students of the local colleges
    Didn't happen with either of my D's or their classmates, on Study Abroad. A primary reason, among others, for studying abroad was associating with students from many different countries on those adventures.
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  • epiphanyepiphany 8405 replies170 threads Senior Member
    I think people are mixing two different things here -- academic/intellectual association vs. social. For the latter, people of any age tend to at least begin in their comfort area, which would be "like-minded" people. But a college student will not necessarily have such a choice in every single course he or she enrolls in. There will be non-like-minded people outside of their field, outside of their residential college (some residential colleges are "interest" colleges), outside of their native state, city, and country, and even within their dorms and their dorm rooms.

    I was so pleased when my D1's dorm-mates included two Internationals, and so was she. And today, many years after graduation, they remain close friends.
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  • Trixy34Trixy34 1183 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    @SuperSenior19 - never been to Arkansas. I was just noting the differences I see between how things are done in PA vs my experiences in New York.
    @milgymfam - wasn't arguing NY is a utopia. Just pointing out the differences that have puzzled and/or frustrated me going from a highly regulated (and admittedly high tax) state to a less regulated state. Yes, roads are bad everywhere. But when we were in upstate NY in a snowstorm last January, we encountered snow plows and sanders every few miles on the thruway. Drove for 3 hours and only barely slid once, at the bottom of a really bad hill.. Also, the Governor prohibited truck traffic. Thanks to our current Dem. Governor here in PA, there have recently been emergency declarations and travel restrictions during storms, but that doesn't change the fact that the roads are not cared for in the way that they should be. I've lived her 20 years. Grew up in snow. Know how to drive in snow. I won't go out when it snows here because it's a mess. I'm terrified to let my kid drive back and forth to college on the PA Turnpike.
    edited May 2019
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  • Trixy34Trixy34 1183 replies6 threads Senior Member
    And yes, there are taxes everywhere. But PA's tax system is one of the most regressive in the country. The wealthy pay 6% of their income in taxes. The poor pay almost 14%. Then you add an inheritance tax to that, and the outcomes that I see for my clients are devastating.

    But I digress. Sorry to stray so far off topic, OP.
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