* Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania is essentially a book-length rant against the folly of thinking that getting into a top university equates to success, and that any other path equates doom. And, in the first pages, the author presents as an example a young man who, having gone to his safety school as an undergrad, gets into Harvard Business School. So the lesson is: if at first you don’t get in, try, try again? Rather ironic, I thought…

And so it goes, with plenty of examples of people who are successful in the narrow sense of the world (think: CEOs) who have not gone to prestigious universities, but, alas, little hard data on differences between alumni of top schools and not-so-top schools. This is not to say that the author does not make interesting points, and in particular exposes the damnable techniques that give alumni’s children outrageous priority in admissions, further distorting the randomness of college admissions for everyone else.


He also points out that the Ivy League frenzy is not, by far, the largest issue with college admissions– which is the lamentable inability of many gifted students to afford tuition and other costs. I would have preferred to read the rant in article length and read a book about the larger issues of college access.


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