The New York Times
18 March 2015
At Harvard, Bucknell, Emory and other schools around the US, there have been record numbers of applicants yearning for an elite degree. They’ll get word in the next few weeks. Most will be turned down.
All should hear and heed the stories of Peter Hart and Jenna Leahy.
Peter didn’t try for the Ivy League. That wasn’t the kind of student he’d been at New Trier High School, in an affluent Chicago suburb. A friend of Peter’s was ranked near the summit of their class; she set her sights on Yale – and ended up there. Peter was ranked in the top third, and aimed for the University of Michigan or maybe the special undergraduate business school at the University of Illinois. Both rejected him.
He went to Indiana University instead. Right away, he noticed a difference. At New Trier, a public school posh enough to pass for private, he’d always had a sense of himself as someone ordinary, at least in terms of his studies. At Indiana, though, the students in his freshman classes weren’t as showily gifted as the New Trier kids had been, and his self-image went through a transformation.