Like it or not, colleges aren’t looking to reel in the greatest number of straight-A students who’ve taken seven or more Advanced Placement courses.
A rejection isn’t really about you; it’s about a maddening mishmash of competing objectives.
The Justice Department has confirmed that it’s looking into a complaint, filed in 2015 by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations, charging discrimination against high-achieving Asian-American college applicants.
Also, students for Fair Admissions, which opposes affirmative action policies, has filed discrimination lawsuits against Harvard, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin.
(Some presidents have been known to gripe if the freshman class doesn’t represent all 50 states.) A campus might also need a particular number of engineering majors or goalies.
Indeed, a college could accept 33 percent of all applicants, but that doesn’t mean each applicant has a one-in-three chance.
Although the Supreme Court affirmed last year that admissions officers may consider an applicant’s race among other factors, polls show that a majority of Americans disagree with that decision.
Critics of affirmative action see plenty of room for future legal challenges.
Just ask the heartbroken applicant, rejected by her dream school.
Ask high school counselors, who complain that colleges don’t reward promising students for their creativity, determination or service to others.