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Chinese Applicants Flood American Colleges

lullinatalklullinatalk 566 replies25 threads Member
edited February 2011 in International Students
'Hi Professors!' Chinese Applicants Flood American Colleges - NYTimes.com

I'm not Chinese, and this article still sounds condescending to me. I would like to hear what other international students and especially Chinese students think about it.
edited February 2011
23 replies
Post edited by lullinatalk on
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Replies to: Chinese Applicants Flood American Colleges

  • b@r!um[email protected]!um 10287 replies175 threads Senior Member
    Why do you find it condescending?

    The article reflects on a situation that I have heard about many times: a huge number of Chinese applicants competing for a limited number of spots. It gets even worse at the graduate level. If you find this article condescending, you wouldn't want to hear what professors have to say about reading Chinese graduate applications.
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  • Haddon1267Haddon1267 122 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Condescending in what way?
    On the other hand, I do find it's peculiar that Grinnell would allow NYT to publish parts of the applicants' application material. Aren't these supposed to be private?

    To [email protected]!um: I am sure there are condescending graduate professors. But they should know that they are not giving charities to the Chinese students (or Indian students, or others). While the professors provide educational opportunities for those foreign students, they are getting the students' devotion (in terms of the long hours working on research projects) that is often unavailable from native students, especially in many scientific fields where the work is tedious and career rewards may not be very high in conventional terms.
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  • lullinatalklullinatalk 566 replies25 threads Member
    I guess it's just me who find this article condescending, but I get that vibe from the "Hi Professor" in the title and elaborating on the ridiculous things some of the Chinese applicants send in because I find it to be more of a cultural difference than something like an English language issue. Also, they paid the same application fee as domestic applicants and deserve to be treated the same way everyone else is.
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  • b@r!um[email protected]!um 10287 replies175 threads Senior Member
    Haddon1267, you misunderstood me. I did not mean to imply that professors had a low opinion of Chinese students. It's just that applications from China are read differently because the culture is different and the competition is so keen.

    lullinatalk, it's not just Chinese applicants who submit unsolicited material in an attempt to distinguish themselves from the crowd. There are plenty of reports about domestic Ivy league applicants using similar strategies, and their extra submissions are ignored just the same. When only 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 applicants gets admitted, it's a natural reaction to try to make your application stand out by adding a "unique" element.

    Or were you referring to the cap on Chinese admits when you said they "deserve to be treated the same way everyone else is"? Getting rid of such a cap seems like an extraordinarily bad idea to me. The student bodies of prestigious universities might turn 80% international in just a few years if college admissions was done nationality-blind and purely based on merit. American universities are to serve American students first and everyone else second.
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  • sefagosefago 1713 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Barium is actually right

    Most professors do read chinese applications differently. I also suspect that most assume that the chinese cheat in the GRE and such. I have heard similar comments form people.

    Nevertheless, I think the article was condescending and the comments quite disturbing.
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  • lullinatalklullinatalk 566 replies25 threads Member
    lullinatalk, it's not just Chinese applicants who submit unsolicited material in an attempt to distinguish themselves from the crowd. There are plenty of reports about domestic Ivy league applicants using similar strategies, and their extra submissions are ignored just the same. When only 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 applicants gets admitted, it's a natural reaction to try to make your application stand out by adding a "unique" element.

    Or were you referring to the cap on Chinese admits when you said they "deserve to be treated the same way everyone else is"? Getting rid of such a cap seems like an extraordinarily bad idea to me. The student bodies of prestigious universities might turn 80% international in just a few years if college admissions was done nationality-blind and purely based on merit. American universities are to serve American students first and everyone else second.

    I personally find some domestic applicants just as ridiculous as the Chinese applicants in the article, if not more ridiculous because they are in a position to understand the admission process better. The focus on the brochures and other application materials sent in specifically by Chinese applicants, while many domestic students would do just the same to get into their top choice, is unjust to me.

    What I meant by the application fee and treatment part is that their application should be cast in the same light as other applications. Not necessarily domestic applications, but I think the adcom is capable of putting them in a perspective similar to one that is used to judge an Indian, British, or Mexican application. The adcom should consider the total number of international students they will admit, financial aid status if they are not need-blind to international students, holistic review, etc. but should not hold anything against an applicant just because s/he is Chinese.
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  • b@r!um[email protected]!um 10287 replies175 threads Senior Member
    The focus on the brochures and other application materials sent in specifically by Chinese applicants, while many domestic students would do just the same to get into their top choice, is unjust to me.
    This just happened to be an article specifically about over-the-top Chinese applicants. Other articles talk specifically about over-the-top domestic applicants.

    I didn't see anything specifically anti-Chinese in this article. How are you inferring that Chinese applicants are being treated differently from applicants from other countries?
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  • BillyMcBillyMc . 7699 replies49 threads Senior Member
    I don't see the big deal. The US has some of the best universities in the world.

    Actually, I do see the big deal. It can be damaging to the other countries when the "best and brightest" leave and come to the US for education AND STAY. It's a brain drain. Sure, it benefits the US, but those other nations would be better off if those people went back to improve them (obviously not true for other industrialized, first-world countries).
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  • lullinatalklullinatalk 566 replies25 threads Member
    I don't want to go into small details like this, but I don't think I have seen a lot of other posts about over-the-top domestic applications on The Choice for the last year and a half I have been reading it. The news article, imo, portrays Chinese students as prestige-crazy obnoxious name-chasers and overgeneralizes them. I'm just concerned about the unfair treatment some Chinese students might get when people get the idea that all Chinese college students in the US are like that. I am not Chinese, but I am Korean. I have been asked several times, "What are you doing this summer? Wait, let me guess. You are going to take SAT and TOEFL classes?" to which I responded, "No, I am going to go to the beach, have fun, and then give flute lessons at the after school daycare." I don't enjoy such stereotyping. Maybe I feel strongly about this article because I feel like I'm being laughed at.
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  • RedDinosaurRedDinosaur 107 replies5 threads Junior Member
    IMO, the article sends a message that the rise of international Chinese student applications is a negative thing. I can understand a cap on international students in general as long as that cap is not directed towards only a specific country.

    The sad truth is that there is also a limit for Asian American students which I completely do not understand. Asian American students are also held to a higher standard in comparison to other Americans.
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  • lake42kslake42ks 1140 replies31 threads Member
    The student bodies of prestigious universities might turn 80% international in just a few years if college admissions was done nationality-blind and purely based on merit.

    That is hard to believe and an underestimate of domestic top applicants. US higher education is the best in the wold for a reason - we have outstanding domestic applicants.
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  • b@r!um[email protected]!um 10287 replies175 threads Senior Member
    US higher education is the best in the wold
    The most prestigious, I concur. The best, debatable. First-year graduate students with degrees from American universities are routinely outperformed by foreign graduate students for a reason.

    I am not saying that US high school students aren't talented. But the US accounts for less than 5% of the world population. Currently the number of international students at the top universities is relatively low because the number of international students is capped. This, among other things, makes the admission standards higher for international applicants than domestic applicants and discourages many highly qualified international applicants from applying.

    Imagine lifting that cap. Not only would more of the current international applicants get accepted, but the greater chance of gaining admission would attract even more applicants. If 20% of the academic elite in each country decides to apply to the US, and we assume that the top foreign students are on average equally qualified as the top American students, then Harvard would be 80% international.
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  • ivycollegeivycollege 115 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Maybe I feel strongly about this article because I feel like I'm being laughed at.

    'I feel like'? You ARE being laughed at.

    P.S. - Yes offense. (jk)
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  • kolijmakolijma 261 replies2 threads Junior Member
    "Prestige crazy obnoxious name-chasers" don't usually shoot for schools like Grinnell. I think many Chinese students are hoping to become more well rounded through a liberal arts education, and since it is competitive for international students, sending in good supplemental material is nothing unusual. I too am very surprised though if the NYTimes received those images from Grinnell, as they absolutely should be private.
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  • macmillmacmill 413 replies9 threads Member
    Did these students consent to being publicly embarrased on a global platform like the NY times?Not right if you ask me.Yet another example of American disrespect of foreign nationals.
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  • sefagosefago 1713 replies18 threads Senior Member
    The most prestigious, I concur. The best, debatable. First-year graduate students with degrees from American universities are routinely outperformed by foreign graduate students for a reason.

    yeah because most of these foreign graduates come in with 2 Year Masters degrees or Masters degrees at the undergraduate level (I am sure you understand what I mean). Most US educated people come with undergraduate degrees. Also I dont think this holds true most fo the time actually. I remember in undergrad all the undergrads outperformed graduate students in graduate classes which was 95% international with soem grad students from the US. Infact we found it less competitive than undergraduate class where everyone was just competitive and trying to screw you over at any opprotunity.
    Imagine lifting that cap. Not only would more of the current international applicants get accepted, but the greater chance of gaining admission would attract even more applicants. If 20% of the academic elite in each country decides to apply to the US, and we assume that the top foreign students are on average equally qualified as the top American students, then Harvard would be 80% international.

    Dont forget cost- the best internationals most times cannot afford an ivy education.
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  • b@r!um[email protected]!um 10287 replies175 threads Senior Member
    Dont forget cost- the best internationals most times cannot afford an ivy education.
    Yeah, because Harvard is so stingy with financial aid.
    I remember in undergrad all the undergrads outperformed graduate students in graduate classes which was 95% international with soem grad students from the US. Infact we found it less competitive than undergraduate class where everyone was just competitive and trying to screw you over at any opprotunity.
    That's because grades don't matter for graduate students. Grad students are supposed to focus on their qualifying exams and research, not their coursework. In fact, graduate students are often guaranteed an A- or B+ for minimum effort. Undergraduates, on the other hand, need to ace each class for that precious A and strong letter of recommendation.
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  • sefagosefago 1713 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Yeah, because Harvard is so stingy with financial aid.

    Hmm thats not the point, although Harvard claims to be need blind it preferable takes the tippy top internationals for finaid. Except they make international student admissions and finaid awards at level with US students.
    That's because grades don't matter for graduate students. Grad students are supposed to focus on their qualifying exams and research, not their coursework. In fact, graduate students are often guaranteed an A- or B+ for minimum effort. Undergraduates, on the other hand, need to ace each class for that precious A and strong letter of recommendation.

    You said this:
    First-year graduate students with degrees from American universities are routinely outperformed by foreign graduate students for a reason.

    Then you defend average performance of foreign graduate students with advanced degrees in graduate class relative to american undergraduate with the above. I thought you said they outperformed graduate students with degrees from american degrees. Maybe those american graduate students dont care about grades too?

    And no Graduate students are not guaranteed an A- or B+, I dont know what class or department you are talking about but grad students do get bad grades sometimes. One of the classes I took the grad students all with foreign degrees did so badly that the professor had to curve the class consistently and lol, and these were some of the best in their countries with Masters degrees. Albeit the class was supposed to be extremely hard so it would be just one scenario.
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  • sefagosefago 1713 replies18 threads Senior Member
    However in economics and mathematics the case could be very different from what I have heard from acquaintances.
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  • b@r!um[email protected]!um 10287 replies175 threads Senior Member
    You missed the point. The performance of PhD students is not measured in terms of grades.

    It is widely acknowledged that graduate courses are graded much more leniently than undergraduate courses, with a B in a grad course corresponding to a C-D in an undergraduate course.
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