So lately at work, I’ve (jm) been seeing lots and lots of kids. Every single day there is at least one person who comes in and tells me they want to go to Harvard. Sometimes it’s more like two or three a day. Seeing as this was the first year that more than one Malaysian student was accepted to Harvard (they took 3- 2 Malaysian kids and an American expat living here), I have to politely inform them that their chances are not good. I don’t get it. How on earth did Harvard become such a brand name? They don’t even usually mention the other Ivies, much less all the other fantastic schools out there, just Harvard. It’s actually quite funny, they all ask for brochures and we don’t have any. We get tons of materials from all over the states (I spent about an hour just opening mail the other day), but none from the top schools. They all have huge endowments, but I guess they save it for things other than glossy brochures. They don’t have to advertise because everyone knows who they are already.
Last night I went to a career fair with my boss at a British secondary school outside of KL. It’s a school basically full of expat kids with a few other random people tossed in. It was a neat event, the guidance counselor arranged to have reps there from all sorts of places so that the kids and their parents could see what some options were for further education. We expected to be bored all night, figuring nobody would be interested in going to the US, but we were the busiest table there. It was kind of interesting meeting these kids. Of the ten we met, at least three are going off to programs at Yale and Columbia this summer for some kind of thing where they take a class or two and get to network with guidance and admissions staff at the schools. I guess they figure this will increase their shot at getting in. I do hope that if they end up applying to these schools that they don’t apply for financial aid. You know that at the first blank spot they find on that application, they will write about how they attended a summer course on campus, and the college will immediately know that they spent $8000 for summer school. So why not $42,000? (times four, of course)