NYTImes - threat to sue HS so girl cd apply to Harvard

<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/16/nyregion/16apply.html?oref=login%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/16/nyregion/16apply.html?oref=login&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Interesting story - it is claimed that the HS limited the number of kids who could apply to elite schools, and said no one could apply EA or ED, though school denies it. The girl's sister - a law student - went after the school, and now the girl can apply early to Harvard.</p>

<p>Off the top of my hand I would have said she didn't have a chance - an 86 average, a few APs and two years on the track team - but she is #11 in her class AND this news story will be great publicity for her, so she will probably get in.</p>

<p>That is an interesting story. While a school can offer advice on realistic colleges, they should not be telling a student that they cannot apply to certain schools, and surely not preclude any student from utilizing ED or EA. They should not be making rules like that that limit kids. As well, it sounds like the school is very behind if they are just lining up SATs and have made it so it is impossible to do ED if a student wanted to. </p>

<p>I must give the older sister a lot of credit for advocating so intensely and publicly because it does show some disadvantages that befall kids from schools or backgrounds like that. Her stats do not stand out to me but being URM, she surely could shoot for an Ivy with those stats and should have that option. And yeah, I agree that the publicity won't hurt ;-). </p>


<p>I agree about the sister --- good for her! And it will help a lot of other kids in the system too.</p>

<p>I can't read, because, not registered - is this a public or private high school?</p>

<p>Public, in Brooklyn.</p>

<p>I don't understand a school telling kids that they cant apply early decision because they can't handle the paperwork. Its not fair that students in poorer schools are being penalized for the inadequacy of the system.
I doubt that that girl will get into harvard (URM or not), but she should be able to apply like everyone else.</p>

<p>"I doubt that that girl will get into harvard (URM or not), but she should be able to apply like everyone else."</p>

<p>I hope we're not OVERestimating the URM advantage.</p>

<p>That girl should realize that Harvard isnt everything.</p>

<p>Harvard isn't everything, but she does have a chance at least. The GC has no right to limit people from applying to certain schools. It's not like she is a bad student either. This angers me, probably because my GCs suck too=/</p>

<p>Can't comment on her chances at Harvard...depends in part on where other kids in the school are applying.</p>

<p>However....there are two different issues here. First, this school apparently was decding where students could apply. That's not OK in NYC public schools. Happens all the time in private schools, but not public.</p>

<p>Second point is limiting applications. It's not unusual for NYC public schools to do this. Stuyvesant, for example (one of the specialized schools refered to in the article), limits students to a total of 7 apps including 1 early. Even if you could technically apply to both an ED and an EA, Stuy won't permit it. With nearly 800 students in the class and a full-time College staff of 3, it just ain't gonna happen.</p>

<p>Quality of guidance is another matter. Some kids get good advice; others don't. But if you don't like it, you can ignore it and apply where you want. The Brooklyn school reported in this article was way out of line. It's also obvious that they're not well organized.</p>

<p>The original post is a sad case of incompetence in the system, but about limiting apps, I think it makes sense in certain cases to limit applications for schools. It is often for the benefit of everyone, but sometimes students are not astute enough to realize it.</p>

<p>Take a highly competitive prep school. It is against the interests of everyone that the top students apply to all the Ivies and get into all of them. thereby taking the spots of other students. I know people like to say that it's a crapshoot, but it's really not for the top students at certain high schools. There are around 10 or so kids who will get in at almost everywhere they apply at my school, and as such the counselors try hard to get these kids to simply apply early somewhere and then stop. My school does not do this at all, but many of our peer schools do. Is it so against the rights of the wealthy student who does not care about aid to stop him/her from continuing to apply to top schools after getting in early to Harvard or Yale?</p>

<p>The other scenario is the mediocre applicant from a top high school. He/she may want to apply early, but the student will simply be blown out of the water in comparison. If they apply early, they will lower their chances since it is harder to get in after being deferred. If they wait for regular and raise their grades/scores enough, they can boost their chances. Unfortunately, some uneducated students will think early shows "interest" and therefore ruin their own chances by applying early at a time when their application has little chance of acceptance. What is so bad about a counselor discouraging or even forbidding a student from suiciding?</p>

<p>Your argument makes sense, but the article seems to suggest that the school only allows the top five students from applying to the top ivy league schools. Therefore, the guidiance counselor wasn't stopping the girl from suiciding. The girl would not have been able to apply in the regular stream as well as in the early stream. </p>

<p>In fact the school is forbidding anybody from applying in the early stream. Applying early does improve your chances. Maybe not at super-competitive schools like Harvard, Princeton, Yale etc. But, applying early decision to some schools shows the school that it's your clear-cut first choice. And in some instances like UPenn, legacy is only considered when you apply early.</p>

<p>Vornnwe, I am so glad that you brought this to everyone's attention. This is something I have been fighting for a long time. In fact, the main reason my kids have been in private schools is because some of the excellent public schools that were an option did "gatekeeping". It is crazy that a kid from School A should be permitted to take a bunch of AP or honors level courses whereas that same kid would not be permitted to do so at School B. Unless the kid is disruptive in the class and preventing others from learning, it is his risk that his grade is not going to be good and that he is not going to do well on the AP exam. </p>

<p>This same philosophy is extending to the college app situation as well. Counselors like to give the "woe is me" speech to parents stressing that they have little to do with where a kid gets in at college and the parents blame them too much, and yet they are often gatekeepers to their own students. The counselors often choose kids for merit scholarships nominations and awards. The minor differences in recs can make a difference when there are multiple apps to the same selective small school. There is not a whole lot we can do about this. But to actually having policies prohibiting or limiting the colleges a student can approach is outrageous.</p>

<p>I do understand the reason for this. A school with 400 college bound seniors with one or two counselors has to write 400 recs at minimum. Though I truly doubt that the school is question is having a rush for early apps---GCs are typically like the loney Maytag repairman until after Thanksgiving when EVERYONE has a rush app situation, it is a problem for these understaffed schools to come up with the recs on a timely basis. And some schools are not set up for the college process. The only thing that saves the school where I work from this problem is that very few students apply to selective colleges. If the counseling office were bombarded with kids applying to colleges, they would be in serious trouble as they are inundated with much more severe problems--delinquincy, family problems, drop outs, pregnancy, I can go on and on. There is no college counselor per se, the GC deals with all issues. </p>

<p>In contrast, my sons' private school has a school psychologist, a mentor/advisor system along with 3 staff members whose sole jobs are college apps. What a difference! And yet this school is setting some gatekeeping measures as well. They want no more than one ED and one EA (if the choice of colleges allow the combo). They do that, they say, for college-school relationships. Apparently some colleges look down upon schools that have a slew of students applying early and then not showing up. Makes no sense to me, but I am told that is the situation. </p>

<p>We are running into a situation where this school is discouraging S's app to a top ivy league school. There are many kids from this school applying there, and his academic record is sketchy compared to those kids. But that's his business and his risk of being rejected. It is the job of the school to give the kid an idea where they think he stands in the applicant pool, but to totally gatekeep someone out is not right.</p>

<p>I am told by a friend who is my age and graduated from Exeter, that he was among the last classes where the college liason at his school basically assigned the kids to a school. He ended up at Dartmouth. That is how strong the system was in those days. We have supposedly moved forward from that system.</p>