The Gatekeepers

The Gatekeepers

Inside the Admissions Process of A Premier College

Book - 2002
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In this revelatory book, Steinberg follows a college admissions officer and his eight counterparts through the daunting task of recruiting students nationwide, reading through each of their applications, and meeting behind closed doors to finalize the incoming class. In the process, he shows how the admission process at top colleges really works. (Education/Teaching). From the fall of 1999 to the spring of 2000, New York Times education reporter Jacques Steinberg was given unparalleled access to an entire admissions season at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. In that time, he discovered just how difficult it could be to winnow down a list of nearly seven thousand applicants to seven hundred freshmen for the class of 2004. Steinberg follows an admissions officer and his eight counterparts through the daunting task of recruiting students nationwide, reading through each of their applications, and meeting behind closed doors for a week in March to finalize the incoming class. He also recounts the personal experiences of a half dozen high school seniors of various ethnic and economic backgrounds as they struggle through the often byzantine selection process. Find out why: high SATs and many extracurricular activities are not always critical. A student's "story" can either be helpful or detrimental. One student with a 1480 SAT score and high grades can face stiff competition from another three thousand miles away whose board score is 900 and who has a handful of Ds on her report card. An officer peering into the application pool is often most excited to see a reflection of him-or herself staring back. The Gatekeepers is a suspenseful, highly readable account that moves from the applicant's high schools to the admissions office and back again to the student's homes, as the academic futures of thousands of young people hang in the balance.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2002
ISBN: 9780670031351
Characteristics: xxiii, 292 p. ; 24 cm


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Oct 09, 2015

I attended Wesleyan University as a graduate student in 1991-1992. Scores of students there struck me as being anti-intellectual, crass, very materialistic, smug hypocrites. Like the vast majority of other Western post-secondary institutions for higher learning, Wes had a Neo-Marxist speech code that allowed (and still does allow) Asians, Blacks, the BGLAD crowd, Latinos, and other (allegedly) powerless peoples to physically and verbally attack Whites (especially heterosexual White males of Northwestern European Descent) at will. European-Americans who dared talk back were either expelled or threatened with expulsion. The ethos at school was so stifling and comical that a gay acquaintance of mine at Wes penned a screenplay entitled "P.C.U." that starred David Spade of Saturday Night Live and other stars of the big screen.

May 03, 2014

This is a really interesting, enlightening and informative book. I knew that the admissions process had changed since the time that I applied to college (30 years ago), but this really gives you the history and evolution of the process as it is now, though I'm sure it has evolved even more since this was published. It was recommended to me by another parent after we were disappointed that our daughter did not get into both her parents' alma mater, despite her being a stellar student. I highly recommend it anyone who will eventually have kids that will face the college application process.


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