So i found myself sitting across a long table from Mr. David Someone who was at NYU when it was just a little hole in The Village’s wall, and he was telling our counselors how to do things. At first it seemed rather dashing and exciting and fun, but then when the counselors started to ask questions about if NYU does personal interviews and personal tours and handwritten envelopes from counselors suddenly all of the happy smiling applicants turned into sheep either being lead to the slaughter or the shears. And and and, and finally we got around to how financial aid works, and he said that SAT scores and family income have a perfect positive slope on his graph and so selective schools don’t have to worry too much about throwing excessive amounts of aid around. Because, if a student without too much money and merely above average grades manages to get in they will find a way to make up the difference if the school really matters to them.
And then, and then …. his favourite phrase came out. “Remember, you aren’t judged by who you accept, you’re judged by who you reject.” And, yes, i know we were talking about the college admissions process and about how NYU only has to accept 25% of each application pool to fill all of their seats, but it was like he was staring right at me from across the table saying that they are who they are because i got a big fat NO in the mail from them April 4th, 1999.