IvyGate Science Theater 3000 Presents: The Princeton Review’s The Best 371 Colleges Lists 2010

princeton_reviewmst3k_silhouetteThe Princeton Review released its 2010 guide to the Best 371 Colleges last week. Along with overviews for every one of those arbitrary number of schools, the Princeton Review also released their college ranking lists in various categories. The lists are determined by surveys taken by current students at every school, and the categories run the gamut from schools with the most accessible professors to schools with the most stoned professors.

To see these lists, you could buy the Princeton Review book for $25. If you’re smart, you could just go to the Princeton Review website to see them. But if you’re lazy and can put up with not-great formatting, we’ve got all 62 of the rankings right here. Every single one, including those without any Ivy League schools on it. And because we felt like it, four of us have added our own commentary to the lists below.

In reading through the lists, we point out the good (Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia have the top three best libraries), the bad (No Ivy League schools classified as “Dodgeball Targets”), and the absolutely ridiculous (It appears Yale had only one student fill out a survey and it happened to be on opposite day). But mostly, our group of one Harvard grad (Adam), one Cornell grad (Max), and two Princeton grads (Maureen and Michael) just riff on everything. We’re just like the Satellite of Love Crew. Heck, one of us is even named Mike! So please join us, will you, as we blow up the Hitler building. There may even be railing kills. All the lists are after the jump, including an Ivy League school summary at the very end. Read the rest of this entry »

Ivy Leaguers Not Above Being D.C. Summer Intern’d

DC_internsOne of the hot new blogs on the interblag–especially in my hometown–is Spotted: D.C. Summer Interns. Basically, every summer brings a new batch of college interns to Washington to work on and around Capitol Hill. And every summer, the interns screw up the city for D.C. residents with their arrogant behavior, clueless actions, and passion for getting smashed. The D.C. Interns blog is for the locals to strike back by chronicling the infuriating behavior of these interns, many of whom only got their menial labor positions through family connections rather than merit. Obviously, some of these interns are Ivy Leaguers.

We know that Ivy League students can utter idiotic statements. And the posted incidents (or interncidents) are quite ridiculous, such as thinking the U.S. Capitol is the White House and expecting Starbucks to make his coffee orders gratis. But as of today, only one anecdote lists the offending intern as an Ivy League student.

Last summer in an East-Coast Senate office, we had an intern from a prestigious Ivy League school, who definitely fit the bill as a “smart dumb kid.” Proving the phrase “you never know who you’re going to see, so watch your behavior,” he was spotted after work at a Nationals game. It was apparent that he had a bit too much to drink, but what happened at the game is not the point, it’s how he got home. Said intern was living in Rockville for the summer. The next morning when I told him I saw him at the game the night before, he chuckled in an embarrassed fashion and went on to explain that he took a cab home after the game…not the Metro which was still running after the game ended. Apparently his friends paid the cab driver before they left, but he went on to pay again at the end of the trip. He did not discuss or even dispute the fare, and paid the cab driver not $25 (which is still a bit much), but $135!

In his defense, the best way to get through a Nationals game is to be completely wasted.

As most of the posts relate spontaneous occurrences and overheard idiotic statements, the alma maters of the offending interns are not often stated. Fortunately for us, one Ivy Leaguer has outed himself in order to defend his lack of manners in the House cafeteria. Unfortunately for Harvard sophomore Matthew Young, his explanation does little to improve his image. 

No, actually, I understand swine flu is not transmitted through pork or pigs thanks to my Harvard education. :P

Nope, I didn’t ask for my money back.

No, the “Lade Serving at the Counter” did not apologize and did not ask “what can I do to fix this.” She asked in a very belligerent tone, “whaddya want me to do about it SIR?” 

And I replied accordingly, “I hope you don’t serve this to Members of Congress!”

It’s nice of Harvard to offer a class titled “Things That Can’t Give You Swine Flu”. If only Lena Chen had taken it.

IvyGate Guide to That Ivy League Look

c-15The Ivy League look came about as a result of an odd confluence of factors, the Cold War not excluded, but it exists today for one reason: looking out of place and loving it. A number of trends have ebbed and flowed through campuses throughout the Northeast in recently years—and more problematically through the parts of the country that don’t include the Ivy League—wherein kids are wearing coral-colored pants embroidered with little whales and cable knit everything else. Throw in a tweed jacket for guys or a cardigan (worn over-the-shoulders of course) for girls, and it’s a trope.

This isn’t the place to judge style or taste. But it’s the perfect place to judge people. A curious blog found its way into our inbox recently—curious because we thought it was a joke for a solid 2 days—that’s focused entirely and specifically on Ivy Style. Forget tips for women, though, because in the good old days, the Ivy League was only for the dudes, the dudes with the money. It’s just like this posted poem song, “The Ivy League Look,” from Princeton’s Triangle Club written in 1957:

Corduroy slacks disgust me
Black leather jackets are vile
Long greasy hair and blue suede shoes
Transform my blood to bile.
If you want everyone to accept you
As a modern American male
You must dress the way the magazines say
They dress at Harvard and Yale

Now, it wouldn’t be as interesting if the editors of this blog weren’t totally serious. It also would be less hilarious if the founder of the blog hadn’t graduated from the University of California-Fullerton. In fact, none of the very short list of editors ever attended an Ivy League school, but they all do live in Cambridge and spend a lot of time watching the Ivy League happen.

Read the poem song in full, see some pictures of fur coats and ugly jackets, or just get some pointers on how to dress after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

How To Get Into An Ivy League School: A Step-by-Step Guide Featuring Testimony From a Real, Live Silver-Spoon Legacy and a Racial Minority!

42-17432509IvyGate’s Guide to Admissions: Part II

Getting into an Ivy League school can be likened to winning the lottery: Pencil in a bunch of scantron bubbles, cross your fingers, pray to be struck by lightning. But instead of winning millions, you’re rolling the dice for the opportunity to impoverish your parents. (Or ruin your credit rating, or both!) Nevertheless, aspiring Ivy is a time-honored American pursuit, and no matter how improbable, impractical, and ultimately unpleasant the prize may be, thousands attempt it every year. Mostly, we do it for the free t-shirts.

What follows is IvyGate’s foolproof, guaranteed, 100%-success-or-your-money-back step-by-step guide to swindling your way into the school of your dreams.* Be warned: It isn’t always pretty, and a few of these steps (#3, section ii, second option) might make you go to hell.

1. Have perfect SAT scores, an off-the-chart GPA, amazing extracurriculars, leadership positions in everything, and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Duh. This one is a given, a prereq, if you will. Even the richest kid in the world won’t get in if he’s apt to flunk (or, more likely, drop) out.

2. Be from an insanely wealthy and/or well-connected family, preferably one with an Ivy League legacy. Apply early. While legacy admission standards aren’t as hilariously low as they used to be, a study by Princeton SOC professors Espenshade and Chung equates legacy status with a 160-point SAT boost (on a 1600-point scale) to the privileged few who definitely need it least. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. To guarantee admission, you need to be the child of a major donor, the kind who write seven-digit checks to their alma mater and have buildings named after them. One such Ivy Leaguer, the grandson of a prominent university trustee, told us about his admissions process, starting with an unconventional and star-studded campus tour:

my grandad flew to meet my dad & i [at the university], and i just figured that it was going to be a regular day of tours & walking around. however, when we got there we were met by a super friendly admissions guy. he took us on the regular tour, but then we ditched it because he said “it’s completely useless” (ironic, considering how much energy & money the university pumps into those tours) he took me around campus, and then brought me to meet a representative from the most popular department at the school, which i claimed to be interested in it. (later, i realized that he was one of the senior professors and chair of the undergraduate program) then they shuttled me over to the president’s office. i didn’t really GET that it was the president until they told me after we met. the meeting was brief, but looking back, it was quite an unbelievable opportunity. after lunch, we wandered around campus with another admissions rep, who told me all about undergraduate life.

After the jump: Anonymous Silver-Spooner (ASS) (Don’t be mad, ASS! We tease because we love/hate) continues his story and we offer five more tips for getting in. Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard Business School Professor Really Needs His $4.00 Back

One of the pleasures of being a practicing lawyer is the ability to take an informed stand against the daily injustices of life. Imagine the assured self-sufficiency that Ben Edelman, a Harvard Business school professor and licensed J.D., must have felt when he threatened his local Chinese restaurant with legal action himself over the money they overcharged him one December night – which came out to $4.00. Four dollars. Four.

Not even four dollars per item, just four dollars.

We Want You

As the school year starts up and our vacation is over, we’re gearing back up for yet another year of college. But every archetypal old guy still living in the frat house needs new recruits to initiate, and that’s where we’re looking at you, kid.

We’re looking for smart writers and editors to join the crew and embarrass celebrate their classmates and professors. You don’t need a crammed resume and scores of serious clips, you just need enthusiasm and willingness to dig into the lives of those across these eight unsightly campuses. IvyGate is an open group of nosy quacks, and you will have the opportunity to experiment with ‘journalism’ and pissing people off. We offer test drives and guidance for all levels of experience. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with the IvyGate alums who have somehow emerged successful from these storied halls.

If you are interested in writing, editing, photographing, and/or socializing online or IRL, hit us up at ivygate@gmail.com. If you’re not interested in any of that but have a story you think we’d like, embed this in your brain: tips@ivygateblog.com.

Happy first ~week of school. Don’t lose those fucking syllabi.

The Ivies Want You to Scam the SAT by Faking Your Social Security Number

Today, the Q&A website Quora featured this question in its weekly email digest (yeah, yeah…): “How does one prepare enough to get a perfect score on the SAT?”

The most popular answer isn’t what you think it is. In a long reply (which includes a chart), Kai Peter Chang, who seems to be a TED employee a TEDx San Francisco marketing director, reveals how he gamed the SAT’s reporting procedure in order to present the highest possible score in his college applications:

How to Cheat the SATs

I understood at age 15 that a single, solitary high SAT score was far more impressive than multiple attempts at it.

At the time (this may have changed), the ETS tracked your SAT-taking history through your Social Security Number. With this in mind, every time I took the SATs between Sophomore and Junior year, I deliberately wrote my SSN off by one digit.

When I finally got the score I wanted (1510 in my case), I called up ETS and raised hell, telling them they screwed up my SSN and demanding that they correct it to my true SSN.

“Oh, we are so sorry Mr. Chang. We will fix that for you immediately. Please accept our apologies …”

Consequently, only one high score was attached to my true SSN, and it became the basis for my applications.

That is amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard to Non-Legacy Applicants: “LOL”

Remember when your parents told you that you could achieve anything you set your mind to? That’s partially true, as long as your parents went to Harvard.

The Crimson reported last week that Harvard’s acceptance rate for legacies has hovered around 30 percent – more than four times the regular admission rate – in recent admissions cycles.

It’s OK, though, overachieving non-legacy high schoolers. If you’re really smart enough to get into Harvard, then all you have to do is invent a time machine and go back to when your dad was applying to Harvard and make sure that he gets accepted. Although, he wasn’t a legacy either … so maybe you should go back to when your father’s father was applying to Harvard. Hmm… this is going to be harder than I thought.

I guess you’re all screwed then.


Cuz We’re So Hood?

Apparently all the Ivy League shenanigans this past semester have inspired Smart Crew to create a piece of “artwork” which has been deemed “Ivy League League Vandals 2010.”

A tipster sent us a picture of this graffiti and a link to the website entitled Smart Crew USA Writers Club.  According to Wikipedia, Smart Crew is:

a graffiti crew from Queens, NY, that was formed by SYCO13, MEY (Meyhem Lauren) and LUK around 1997. Throughout the years, the crew has acquired members and has become a collective of various artists including DCEVE, KORN, ACTION BRONSON, and MARTY. Their crew logo consists of an Old English style “S” with the image of a graduation cap on top.

First,  Smart Crew’s fans decided to introduce this artwork with an Einstein quote – “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” So to fully learn  — you better, right now,  forget  everything you just crammed in the last few weeks. I’m sure that won’t be too hard.

Here are the pictures:

If Einstein wasn’t enough, that had to boost their Ivy cred and cram a Marx quote saying “the smart people will get it” at the bottom of their post.  Really, Smart Crew fans did you have to pull a Faulkner?

Ok, so smart people, do you GET IT? Leave your reactions and musings on how this adds to something in the comments below.

Fake Cornell Returns With Its Collar Popped and a Harvard-Sized Chip On Its Shoulder

Welcome back to IVY reality index, where we watch Ithaca College’s masterful Cornell mock-soap-opera and dissect it with the obsessive zeal of a seventh grade girl seeing Twilight for the eighth time. This time we enlisted the help of Real Live Cornell Guy (and fraternity brother, to boot!) Michael Morisy ’07 to help break it down.

But first, an update on last week’s reality index: Remember when we accused the Black Kid With No Name of having a weird pseudo-British, quasi-Australian accent? Turns out the actor is from Zimbabwe, and that’s actually the way he speaks! Apparently the Zimbabwe accent sounds just like an American theater geek faking the Queen’s English. Who knew? Anyway, on to…

IVY Episode 2: In Which The Sissy Liberates Himself After His Girlfriend Goes On A Trampage

Note: If you have trouble with the embeds, go to ICTV’s website and watch there.

Ep 3 and two reality indices (Christmas comes early!) after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »