如果你的申请被Yale “歧视”了 被Harvard 录取了

来自LAB Reads 最近的一篇文章

Edited Mental Illness Out of My College Applications. I’m Not Alone.

By Emi Nietfeld | NYT

文中谈到的一个我们申请中比较关心的问题,文书里面要不要去涉及自己的mental illness 相关的内容,扩大点说就是要不要去说下自己成长路上的困难。

一般会想要去讲一些自己遇到的不容易,主要是要解释一下个别学期GPA 低的问题,所以这时候就会有两难:不说自己的困难的话,这个GPA 说不过去;解释了自己的困难的话,就觉得好像自己是个handle不了困境的人(因为至少成绩单上看,有困难了好像成绩就差了。)

学校招生办给的建议是常见的不用负责的官腔:表达你真实的自我就好; 但是太真实的自我,学校是会怕handle 不了的。( Even if I was comfortable sharing everything, I suspected that the colleges were not comfortable hearing it. )

Officially, colleges say that students can share as much about their mental health as feels comfortable. But in practice, it seems clear that schools are nervous about accepting adolescents who divulge psychiatric histories. 

作者从自身经历和其他类似情况申请人身上得到的经验

作者背景:

2009-2010 学年大学申请者,第一轮Yale 被拒,后修改文书,录取Harvard College 

作者申请时候的情况

在 Common Application 里有点为难要不要写上自己的mental health 的情况  

I wasn’t worried about my grades or extracurriculars. Instead, I agonized over a dilemma that’s familiar to more students than ever as the Common Application deadline looms: What should I disclose about my mental health? 

案例:

在第一轮的时候作者在Yale 的文书里面,直白的说了自己成长路上家庭带来的mental 问题,强调了自己目前情绪已经稳定‍‍

... when I applied to Yale early, I attached a timeline detailing my mom’s hoarding and my overmedication, culminating with me regaining my emotional stability as a scholarship student at boarding school.

被拒。然后作者学校的申请顾问和作者找的校外顾问都问了下Yale 招生办,招生办表示因为招过类似的,后来情况比较严重,所以不敢再招了

I was rejected. My school guidance counselor called Yale’s admissions office and relayed to me that though my grades and test scores were similar to other applicants’, as she put it in an email to me, “regarding the past issues, the list was daunting.” Dr. Kat also queried her network and surmised that Yale wanted to minimize its risk after several high-profile on-campus suicides of college students around the country. “It was just T.M.I.,” she told me — too much information.

这个故事有意思的地方是,这篇文章不是要发表NYT 嘛,所以NYT 就得出面求证Yale,然后下面是Yale 目前的招生办的回复

A spokeswoman for Yale this month said in a statement to The New York Times that she could not discuss my case because admission files are confidential. But she did say,“This account of an admissions decision from over a decade ago is at odds with our admissions practices and philosophy,adding that Yale’s admissions process is “holistic.”

首先,出于对于申请者隐私的保护,所以不能细谈具体的申请情况(这个理由有点太敷衍了,现在是申请人自己想了解啊,你谈“隐私”???)。

然后,没有给任何证据的情况下原地反驳:“你们描述的情况和我们Yale 的招生原则不一致”(态度到是满满的,证据是一点都没有啊...)

回到作者的申请。

吸取第一轮Yale 的教训以后,在第二轮的时候,作者把mental illness相关的部分去掉了

For my next round of applications, I wrote a simple explanation for why I had changed schools and thereby excised three years of my life: the diagnoses, the drugs, the self-inflicted scars. I became a parallel person who’d gone through the same things but come out unscathed. I hit “submit,” applying to 10 schools, including Harvard.

然后四月一日,Harvard 录取

But after three months of nightmares, on April 1, 2010, I got into Harvard.

作者对于申请的总结

I sensed that colleges wanted a pristine survivor who was not marred by trauma. 

下面是作者对于其他类似情况申请人的采访:

同学: Jaimi Salone

背景:现就读于Stanford (now in their final quarter at Stanford)

案例:去掉了12年级时候住院的部分

In their essay, they wrote frankly about depression, anxiety and shame after their mom’s cancer diagnosis and eventual death — providing context for why they “did not look like what was expected of a Stanford admit,” with a 3.06 G.P.A. and many absences. But at the suggestion of their college counselor, they omitted their sophomore-year hospitalization.

 

其它从这篇文中了解到的:

 

1. 美国高中一位升学顾问的学生接待量

+ 公立学校一般是 1: 400-800

Even at Ms. Suo’s affluent suburban school, a single counselor could juggle more than 400 students at a time. 

...

At the time, a single guidance counselor was assisting 800 students with everything from class scheduling to college counseling. [rural Tennessee 的一所公立学校]

+ 私立学校(文中提到的是prep schools)是 1:30

Meanwhile, prep schools often employ former admissions officers as counselors, with caseloads closer to 30 students. 

2. 校外顾问的申请费用:

2009年的时候是 $16,000

The pro bono services I received would’ve cost more than $16,000 in 2009 dollars. 

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