|By Suki on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 03:50 pm: Edit|
I heard that for a while, Duke had picked tons of valedictorians. Then, they found that the classes were so full of them that the student body wasn't very diverse (in general, not racially). Now, supposedly, it's almost a bad thing to be a valedictorian there. True or false? Duke University is one of my top choices, and I have a good chance of being valedictorian next year. Should I get a B in something?
|By Dave Berry on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 06:03 pm: Edit|
Where did you hear this about Duke? Take my advice: Before you tank your senior-year performance based on this spurious info, call Duke's admission office and ask them about it. Before doing that, perhaps you might be able to find a stat or two on their Web site that could clarify things.
Bottom line: Do your very best this year and combine that with an outstanding application to Duke and some other fine schools. Then let the valedictorians fall where they may, to coin a phrase. You'll always regret tossing away your chance to be #1 because of some second-rate gossip.
|By roadtested on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 04:42 pm: Edit|
According to Rachel Toor's book, the only way to get a 5 in achievement is to be first or second in the class. She describes a "555" system with a grade on a 5 point scale for curriculum, achievement and recs. If one looks closely at the Duke system and cross references that with the median SAT scores and class ranks, it just doesn't add up. I am sure this is where the rumor is from, but can the system she discusses be real?
|By Dave Berry on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 09:10 am: Edit|
Not to quote myself, rt, but I have to say again: Bottom line: Do your very best this year and combine that with an outstanding application to Duke and some other fine schools. Elite college admissions is a very inexact science. My biggest issue with the art of strategizing (for lack of a better word) is that it can sometimes dissuade and otherwise negatively influence superb students from pursuing their natural performance paths (see my response to Suki).
Another bottom line from my corner of the college admissions world: Admissions trends change almost yearly, especially among the elites. Therefore, don't risk maintaining a natural edge just because you may hear that this aspect or that innuendo may be hot. You might be completely wrong and miss out on an otherwise available opportunity. Be who you are. The rest will take care of itself.
|By roadtested on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 09:55 am: Edit|
No, I am not going to do something dumb. But, the advice from various sources, you have to admit, is sometimes contradictory and often against common sense. How can someone get recs from a GC that they are the school's best student "ever" (required for a rec 5) but not be valedictorian? How can it be said that one or two B's are okay, but then see that with even one B, you can't get a 5 in achievement? If one year a really great kid is said to be the "best ever", can another kid get admitted the year after? Not according to the book. I think it just feeds the paranoia (and sells books) but again, is it accurate?
|By Dave Berry on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 12:32 pm: Edit|
RT, the fact that all this advice is, as you say, contradictory (and I mostly agree that it is) should be your clue to do as I say: Just be who you are. If you do that, your chances of having the cosmic tumblers click into place for you will increase. Face it: You can't deal with the inexactitudes of elite admissions nearly as well as you can your own school accomplishments and life.
Your life force will be much better spent focusing on you rather than a paranoia-feeding admissions-gospel-according-to-Toor, regardless of how accurate or inaccurate it may be in relation to your goals. 'Sorry for the less-than-black-and-white answer to your question, rt, but many important issues in life dwell in that nebulous gray area known as The Twilight Zone.
|By JOseph SMith on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 05:19 pm: Edit|
This one's for Dave...
Would being from a Jesuit prep school help your chances for some prestigious Catholic Universities such as Duke?
|By Dave Berry on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 07:11 pm: Edit|
Sorry, Joe. Duke's roots lie in the Methodist tradition as this excerpt from their Web site mentions:
In 1892 after a spirited competition among piedmont cities, Trinity opened in Durham, largely because of the generosity of Washington Duke and Julian S. Carr, influential and respected Methodists grown prosperous in the tobacco industry. John C. Kilgo, a dynamic administrator and spellbinding Methodist preacher, later to be elected Bishop, became president in 1894 and he greatly increased the interest of the Duke family in Trinity. Washington Duke offered three gifts of $100,000 each for endowment, one of which was contingent upon the college admitting women "on equal footing with men." The college quickly accepted, having had women graduates in Randolph County in 1878 and women as day students in Durham. Benjamin N. Duke, Washington Duke's son, Durham resident, and longtime trustee, became the principal liaison between the college and the family.
Perhaps your prep-school background might help a bit at places like ND or Georgetown. Bottome line: It's your performance and profile rather than your school that counts.
|By Joseph Smith on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 11:53 pm: Edit|
Thanks dude, but what prestigious colleges would take the fact that I go to a Jesuit High School as an advantage over normal applicants?
|By Ay_Caramba (Ay_Caramba) on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 09:41 pm: Edit|
BC is jesuit...but i doubt they care that much where you're from
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