SCALING THE IVY WALL: Getting into the Selective Colleges by Howard & Robert Minton Greene

SCALING THE IVY WALL: Getting into the Selective Colleges

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unless you're really bent on making Marvin's life miserable, for the rest of the school year, this is less than urgent. The authors say things like ""Old Eli"" and ""Old Nassau"" that can hardly have been heard since the younger Timothy Dwight, and unctuously suggest that ""the satisfaction that will come from the special kind of education available only at a selective college"" -- i.e., Ivy, Seven Sisters, and a handful of others -- ought to repay you for all that bread and sweat. Of course there's nothing wrong with state colleges and other schools, and we all know they can provide fine educations, and nobody should feel ashamed of ending up at one, and by the time you've read a few remarks like that you ought to feel even worse about the place you did end up at. Greene (who now runs an admissions counseling service) and Minton are old hands at university PR and admissions. Masters of the avoided issue, the challenging-sounding rhetorical question, they manage to mention many competing viewpoints about the value of higher education without committing themselves to a foolish consistency. There are reams of subjective, hard-to-interpret statistics: one minute private-school enrollment is holding steady at 30 to 40 percent at ""the colleges most in demand""; in the next chapter there is a ""decreased percentage of private school graduates"" at the same schools because the public school is now tyrant, and admissions offices are discriminating against Choate and other monuments of excellence. Greene and Minton provide some information and advice on applications procedures, campus visits, etc., but it's all very bland and general -- dates for SATs, how to apply for aid, be yourself in interviews, so what if you don't get in. Our favorite bit of $7.95 advice is how to prepare for the senior-year ordeal: ""Have a wonderful summer, one that will help you to expand your interests and experiences."" Marvin, I told you to sign up for that Urdu course. . . .

Pub Date: April 12th, 1975
Publisher: Abelard-Schumann