REPORT: Ivy Leaguers Tell IvyGate What Admissions Numbers Actually Mean

The numbers that are the dick-measuring contest known as Ivy League admissions are finally in, and IvyGate could think of no better way (we didn’t try that hard) to gauge the different school’s reactions by taking to the streets to interview students and determine their (hilarious) reactions to the statistics.

Brown University rolls in (alternatively, “wraps up”) with an admission percentage of 9.6%, a .6% increase from last year! When asked about this rise, I was met with stony eyes and this response: “Brown recently discovered that admitting more students meant more money from tuition. The following year admissions rose higher than for any other Ivy League institution. Where do you think we got the money for our new pool?”

Columbia coasted into a .5% increase from 6.9% last year, on which a student commented,

I’ve never looked at Columbia’s admissions the way others look at it. Others look to decrease the number to appear better. Columbia has always let in more than they can, because we’re not looking to falsify our admissions statistics, though they will automatically be low, as it is an Ivy League school.

Yeah…you can only expect so much from a school in baby blue.  Read the rest of this entry »

Asshole Dartmouth Blogger Tried to Ruin Student Journalist’s Life With Private Photo

Earlier today, at 4:15 AM, prolific Dartmouth blogger Joseph Asch (D ’79, YLS ’83) tried to ruin a student journalist’s life. Just a day after Rolling Stone’s Janet Reitman quoted him (and name-checked his website, in her lengthy report on Dartmouth’s hazing scandal, Asch published a short entry entitled “The D on Hazing (Still Waiting),” in which he repeats a source’s speculation that Dartmouth’s campus newspaper, The Dartmouth, persistently refuses to publish a hazing “exposé” because its staff members have close ties to Dartmouth’s Greek community. And that the paper—which published Andrew Lohse’s column on hazing, thus igniting the entire scandal—remains a tool of Dartmouth’s PR team.

In the same post, which has since been deleted, Asch identified a current student and senior staff member of The Dartmouth as proof of his source’s theory. Asch attached a grainy picture of the student holding a small plastic cup at hip level, and standing in what Asch claimed to be the house of Sigma Alpha Epsilon—ground zero of the hazing scandal. (In the above screenshot taken from Google Reader, we’ve redacted the photo, along with the student’s name.) Here is what Asch wrote beneath the student’s picture:

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Do These Things If You Ever Want to Go To an Ivy

IvyGate’s Guide to Admissions: Part V

Back in the halcyon days of yore (January 2009), my illustrious IvyGate forebears endeavored to provide a four-part, step-by-step primer in gaining admission to your Ivy League institution of choice. The series was so endlessly  SEO-friendly invaluable that it still generates impressive traffic, even to this day.

You would think there’s nothing left to add to such an exhaustive compendium of admissions tips. Lo and behold, competition for spots in the Ancient Eight is getting more and more heated by the year, and the extracurriculars of those lucky few to attend a top institution have been amplified to levels of self-parody. Another installment in our Admissions Guide, it would seem, is called for.

Luckily, the New York Times just made it easy for us. The Grey Lady ran an Op-Ed piece yesterday on the emergence of a new class of Ivy-seeking “Super People.” We, of course, took note; though we were less interested in the article’s argument (having read it before in any number of different permutations) than in the list of accomplishments it suggests are prerequisite for gaining acceptance to an Ivy. We culled some of the more colorful examples, which are presented below in (slightly edited) form:

Items on a Super Person‘s resume:

  • Perfect GPA and SAT scores
  • Editor of the school paper
  • Class president
  • Mountain bikes and/or white-water kayaks
  • Plans to major in either: Philosophy and molecular science, simultaneously;  or, mathematics and medieval literature, concurrent. Those are the only two options.
  • Earned a pilot’s license
  • Took calculus while in the crib
  • Does embedded reporting from war-ravaged Kandahar over summer break
  • “Pointy”

Check out the rest of the list, after the jump!  Read the rest of this entry »

A Public Service Announcement For All Harvard Students

It should really go with out saying, but when someone from Harvard coyly tells you they “go to school in Boston,” rather than just saying that school’s name, they deserve all sorts of awful things. All sorts. Since the conversation never actually stops there, it ultimately amounts to a multi-step humblebrag of the highest/lowest order, and we hate you already, Harvard reader, for even thinking about it.

It’s probably true that Ivy Leaguers of all stripes feel, to varying degrees, self-conscious about broadcasting their collegiate pedigree. Even so, we get the impression that actively concealing it is, by and large, an invention of Harvard. Let’s pick a few names out of a hat and test that hypothesis:

  • Yale: “What’s this ‘humility’ you speak of?”
  • Princeton: It doesn’t really conceal anything to say “I go to school in Princeton, NJ.”
  • Penn: Faces the opposite problem entirely — people following up with questions about Joe Paterno.
  • Cornell: LOL

Just in case this distinctly Harvardian conversational strategy required any more rumination, the Crimson’s Wyatt Troia ably explains why the “tactless Harvard custom needs to stop” :

If you are speaking to anyone but the most disinterested conversation partner, you will be questioned further until the truth finally comes out: “I go to Harvard.” This is when it gets really awkward. Now your acquaintance knows you were trying to conceal that you go to Harvard, and will assume this is because you didn’t want to hurt his or her simple feelings about being so much stupider than you. You’ve succeeded, by trying to avoid looking arrogant and condescending, in exhibiting both qualities.

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Washington Monthly: Ivies Not So Great For “Public Good”

This is the last ranking, we swear! (At least until those list mongers over at U.S. News release their annual deal.) And, the only reason we share is because it really does tie a wonderful bow on top of this summer’s rankings bonanza.

You see, the Washington Monthly has a markedly different idea of what merits a top college than do most other publications. And whereas other contrarian list-makers like Forbes are primarily concerned with absurd, pseudo-sabermetrical approaches — like factoring in Rate My Professors scores (seriously) — WaMo at least has a noble agenda: Identifying those colleges that best promote the “public good.”

Below you’ll see how the Ivies fared in the magazine’s list, along with parentheticals showing how far each was from hitting its U.S. News rank from 2010:

  • 6. Harvard (-5)
  • 17. Cornell (-2)
  • 21. Penn (-16)
  • 26. Columbia (-22)
  • 31. Princeton (-29)
  • 34. Brown (-19)
  • 39. Yale (-36)
  • 74. Dartmouth (-65)

Ouch! (Or, as one IvyGate tipster put it last night, “Fuck Harvard.”) OK, so it’s not terrible or anything, but also not what you would necessarily expect. So, let’s break this down, shall we?

Read the rest of this entry »

NewsBeast Releases Dozens of Arbitrary College Rankings

Just when you were thinking, “You know what I could use? MORE COLLEGE RANKINGS” — Tina Brown popped out from behind a corner and happily obliged. (And then some.)

Of course, that’s not what I was thinking. What I was actually thinking was, “I swear to God, if I have to read even one more set of college rankings–” And then I stopped thinking mid-sentence, in order to sort through the 437 sets of college rankings released by Newsweek and the Daily Beast yesterday morning, as part of their annual paean to the higher-education bubble.

Ire aside, the exercise was valuable insofar as I learned about all the ways our fair Ivies will (and won’t) be marketing themselves over the next year. Here’s what I discovered:

  • However badly Brown students wish their school wasn’t typecast in the role of “Hippy-Dippy Ivy,” that reputation has long since been written in stone, so they’re just going to have to deal. Consider that Brown was the only Ivy not to rank in the “Future CEOs” list, while at the same time performing admirably in the “For Activists” and “Greenest” categories. Go tend to your compost pile, nerds.
  • Columbia, meanwhile, managed to appear in only the most boring of NewsBeast lists — “Rigorous,” “Accessible Professors,” “Future CEOs,” blah blah blah, whatever — even though it’s situated in the most exciting city in the Ivy League. So, good job, I guess.
  • Cornell was the only Ivy to register as a “Party School” — an image the university is doing everything in its power to dispel — and one of just two (along with Penn) not considered to be “For Brainiacs.” At least they can look forward to those Big Red toga parties!
  • Faraway Dartmouth was given the #12 spot in the “For Activists” category — which is, to be honest, a little bit perplexing. What on earth would Dartmouth be advocating for, anyway? You almost have to imagine that it’s something like “states’ rights” or “clubbing seal cubs.”
  • Joy! Harvard students are the happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest of the bunch. They don’t, however, appear on the list of “Horniest” college students. Based on that, and applying just a tiny bit of hyperbole, we’re going to conclude that the Cantabs are actually nothing more than an advanced race of sexless, cybernetic automatons, engineered in a Harvard laboratory with a secret algorithm for success. (Which makes sense.)
  • And then there was Penn, the walking contradiction of the bunch. Based on the NewsBeast rankings, we’re left to hypothesize that Penn is in the throes of a brutal civil war between a well-funded corps of Geeky Future CEOs on the one hand, and a disjointed collective of Sex-Crazed Eco-Activists on the other. Basically, Penn is “Avatar.”
  • Princeton is the only Ivy with a good ROI, apparently.
  • And Yale is mostly like Harvard — but obsessed with having as much weird, inappropriate sex as possible. Though it’s not like that’s ever gotten them into trouble, or anything.

Finally, none of the Ivies were mentioned in the following categories: “Most Athletic,” “Most Beautiful,” “Service-Oriented,” “Cheapest,” and “Best Weather.” This is presumably because the Ivy League is made-up entirely of feeble-bodied, slovenly, self-centered, terminally indebted, seasonally affected, future CEOs. (Except, in the case of Brown, they’re future community gardeners, or whatever.)

After the jump, a school-by-school breakdown of the results. (You can find all of the lists, in all of their glory, on the Daily Beast website.) Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard, Princeton and Cornell Team Up with Brooks Brothers to Create Uber-Douchey Clothing Line

Ivy Leaguers have to make difficult decisions every day. Take, for example, the time I attended the Cornell men’s polo championship with a bunch of my swellest chums. I wanted to wear something spiffy, so I picked out my nicest pair of boat shoes and flamboyant plaid shorts, but then it was time to decide on a shirt. I wanted something with a poppable collar, but at the same time, I also wanted to display some school spirit. It was quite the fashion dilemma. What’s a wealthy Ivy Leaguer to do in a case like this?

Fortunately, the great people at Brooks Brothers have come to the rescue by starting a new line of licensed college apparel for the men of Harvard, Princeton and Cornell. It’s a brilliant business decision – just slap some school logos on Brooks Brothers clothing and voila! The Ivy-educated elite will come running!

“The key for us is re-establishing our connection with what we call the college community — students, faculty and alumni,” Karl Haller, vice president of strategy and business development for Brooks Brothers, said in a telephone interview. “We have a pretty well-educated customer and there’s a built-in opportunity with alumni who are already our customer base.”

The Ivy League clothing line, which will comprise sweaters, ties, dress and polo shirts, will be available beginning August 15th, so make sure to mark your calendars.

I also recommend checking out this Gawker article just for the hilarious title and accompanying photo.

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.


Cornell Greek Leader Resigns After Offensive On-Stage Display, Though IFC Inexplicably Wanted Him To Stay

It’s been a banner couple of years for the Greek community at Cornell. Even looking past revelations of Butt-Chugging, hazing, and rush-week hospitalizations, CU’s frat stars seem hell bent on painting as unfavorable a picture of themselves as possible. Today, for example, we’re left to ponder the story of Rohan Siddhanti, VP of programming for the Interfraternity Council, who resigned yesterday after a brow-raising performance at an event he helped organize over Easter weekend.

The incident in question occurred at “Greek Freak” — a step-dancing show put together by the IFC, Panhellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Letter Council, and presented at Ithaca’s State Theatre on April 23 — where Siddhanti apparently charged headfirst through any number of cultural taboos.

IvyGate has obtained an email from Patricia Chau Nguyen, an assistant dean of students and director of the Asian & Asian American Center, detailing the specifics of the incident. The message, addressed to Associate Dean of Students Travis Apgar, explains that Rohan signed up to work the event, but that during it he initiated a bizarre, offensive display.

[Siddhanti] volunteered for back stage, but began behaving inappropriately, mocking/mimicking MGLC calls, and tried to step with the sigmas. There was an audience participation dance off at the end of which Rohan participated in. First round, he jumped off stage and thrusted himself on two women from an Asian Interest org. Before i could get to him, in the second round, he took off his pants on stage and pretended to jerk off on the crowd.

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Harvard Students, Meet World

Graduation is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing: a massive upsurge in Ivy League freakouts, mostly due to the stunning realization that Ivy League students have zero common sense and no life skills beyond constructing bongs out of toilet paper rolls and laundry filters. Thank God we have someone like Crimson columnist Brian J. Bolduc to deliver us from our own abundance of thumbs and left feet.

Bolduc, a member of Harvard’s Class of 2010, temporarily emerged from his über-gritty, über-real life in New York yesterday to write an article called “The Harvardian’s Guide to the Real World.” We love it when Harvard students pretend to understand the real world, and we especially love it when they try to give each other advice about how to live in it. So naturally we thought Bolduc’s article was worth a quick reality fact-check. Shall we?

First—unlike in class—at work, requirements are mandatory.

WHAT? You must be joking. When will there be time for the rowing machine and the twice-a-day trips to Whole Foods?

Second, work has unavoidable unpleasantries—namely, your coworkers. At one point, you may find yourself sitting across from a guy who went to Yale.

(2a) Do  not use the word “unpleasantries” at the water cooler unless you are working for Roget’s Thesaurus or BlackRock. Otherwise people will think you’re a tool. (2b) Do not gape and point when you see your Yale coworkers, because chances are you’ve been recruited by the same financey folks that hire Ivy League students every year in bushels. (Otherwise, how could you possibly be living in New York, like our fine friend Mr. Bolduc? Keep in mind that none of Bolduc’s proferred recommendations apply if you’re shacking with your parents.)

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