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What did you think when you heard about this story? I have to say that I was initially skeptical. I hear from so many students about names and reputations of colleges but not how they are the right matches for the students talking with me… because those students have not yet done the work necessary to make the most thoughtful decisions.

So I read about Kwasi Enin with great interest and discovered that he was very thoughtful about the process. He realizes that the environments of these eight schools are very different and he is searching for the one among them that will enable him to to do his very best work.

“… Enin said he decided to seek admission to all of them because each had different qualities. Each school has different admission criteria as each seeks the right mix for entering classes.” (LA Times, 4.1.14)

Think for a minute. Is it your impression that these schools

Brown

Columbia

Cornell

Dartmouth

Harvard

Princeton

University of Pennsylvania

Yale

  • have the same core values
  • that all the departments are of equally superior quality (or that there’s variation depending on the size of the department, the age and/or tenure of professors, etc.)
  • offer the same types of opportunities, such as study abroad programs, internships, and/or opportunities for research
  • the students bodies are the same in terms of approach to the academic environment, diversity, social life, etc.
  • the physical environments are equally pleasing?

We can be certain that each school has its own unique character… and finding the best fit involves considering all these factors and more. My bet is that this young man is thinking about these variables and will weigh them along with the financial packages offered to him—he will make the decision with his eyes wide open, thinking first about himself.

 
 
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