Stanford really the standard?
think the University should not concern itself about its relative
status vis-à- vis Stanford [as suggested by Gautam Parikh
in "Letters," December/01] and the Ivies, or whether
Chicago is the first or other choice of its students.
of the applicants to the top national universities are of the
highest caliber. The acceptance rate at Stanford and the Ivies
hovers around 12-13 percent. Therefore, no matter how brilliant
and accomplished the student, they stand an 87 percent chance
of being rejected. Yes, Chicago has proportionately increased
its class size. But even so, its undergraduate enrollment is considerably
smaller than Stanford's and many medium-sized research universities'.
a parent with recent and extensive experience with the college
admissions process, I am adamantly opposed to putting yet even
more pressure on talented and promising young people to polish
and embellish their résumés to satisfy the increasing
demands of admissions committees that work for schools vying for
selectivity bragging rights. The students are suffering burnout.
is a unique institution. It is not for everyone. It should not
try to be Stanford. The main reason Stanford has flourished is
that it is growing in the fertile soil of Silicon Valley money.
its fabled history, the University of Chicago should not suffer
from an inferiority complex about Stanford or any other top school.
I attended Stanford, and I can say unequivocally that I am thrilled
that my child is attending Chicago rather than Stanford, regardless
of whether it was his first, second, or last choice.