Harvard Doesn’t Want Us Either

Harvard Doesn’t Want Us Either

Ayah Khamis and Miranda Kawiecki

“So you don’t want to go to Princeton?”

Not really. At least, we don’t think we’d even get in. 

The “College of Your Dreams”— it’s what you’ve worked for since day one of high school. Your life is built around activities, class rank, grades, sports, leadership roles, and whatever else you can squeeze to try to convince the admission committee why you are special enough to attend their school.  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be lucky enough to empty your pockets.

The Ivy League consists of eight of the world’s most prestigious universities: Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. They are extremely competitive and difficult to get into. There is no doubt that Ivy League Schools offer quality education and have some of the best professors in the world, and we could go on forever praising the Ivy Leagues for what they have to offer. Enough boosting Harvard’s ego. 

Let’s face the harsh reality: money. Universities won’t hesitate to shake teens down for every last penny. Think about all the anxiety-inducing expenses: yearly tuition, room and board, academic materials, the list goes on. There is no doubt that these schools are meant to attract trust fund babies. Now before you go off, we know that once and while Harvard will accept that one homeless kid.

The admissions process is not any less expensive. According to World Report, the average application fee for American universities is $43.00. Comparatively, Ivy Leagues charge $75.00 per application. Cornell, Dartmouth, and Yale charge $80 for every application. A statistic to keep you up at night is that Cornell collected 3.5 million dollars in 2018 application fees, as reported in “The Cornell Daily Sun.” A whopping number for a mere 10.7% admission rate. So chances are, your investment won’t pay off. 

We all have seen those college acceptance reaction videos: “OMG! I got into Yale! I cannot believe it” *insert dramatic sobbing*. Let’s be real here: it’s a little weird. The hype built around going to Ivy Leagues seems to overshadow the stress and pressure of going to one of the “top schools in the world.” Especially schools that don’t care about you.

Ironically, while Ivy Leagues push for A+, they’re receiving D’s, and F’s, for mental health. The Ruderman Family Foundation, a private philanthropic organization in Massachusetts, conducted a study on how Ivy Leagues deal with their students’ mental health. The scores were based on 15 indicators, scrutinizing the policies regarding leaves of absence. Mental illnesses in some cases were described as “community disruptions,” thought to justify forcing a student to be removed from campus. No Ivy League scored above a D. 

There must be a lot of admiration towards these students who worked incredibly hard to get accepted to a college that guarantees them lifelong bragging rights. The prestige of being accepted in the world’s best universities places a tremendous amount of pressure on students who dream big… or in other words, when the elite dream big. 

Story time: The Ivy Leagues favor the wealthy and white. 

Racial minorities have been impacted by Ivy Leagues’ obsession with accepting students who come from potential donors’ families and noteworthy alumni – and a lot of them happen to be white. In a recent lawsuit against Harvard, Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College, the school was put under fire for discriminating against Asian American applications. Through investigation, it was found that  21.5% of white applicants who were accepted to Harvard had legacy status. Only 6.6% of accepted Asian applicants, and 4.8% of accepted African American applicants, were legacies. A lack of equity runs generations deep— a cycle of the rich, white people finding their way to the top again and again.

All things considered, it’s fair to say that Ivy Leagues are glamorized. It’s every high school’s unattainable crush. The Ivy League is out of everyone’s league. And unless you’re planning on selling your soul, you might have to put up with the “there’s always community college” remarks from your parents.

If you’re feeling super ambitious, take advice from Lori Loughlin— pay up.