There’s a piece in “Business Insider” entitled “A perfect ACT score couldn’t get this student into Yale, Princeton, or Stanford, and he says it’s because he’s Asian-American” by Abby Jackson that we figured we’d comment on. The piece focuses on Michael Wang, a student with a perfect ACT score who didn’t get into the colleges of his dreams, two Ivies and Stanford. Because of this, Wang has chosen to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. We at Ivy Coach have been quite vocal over the last several weeks about how Asians and Asian Americans do indeed face discrimination in highly selective college admissions but we also believe that Wang’s complaint against the U.S. Department of Education to be frivolous.
The piece in “Business Insider” states the following: “He [Wang] also stressed that he was not just academically driven, but also a well-rounded applicant who maximized his extracurricular activities. He competed in national speech and debate competitions and math competitions. He also plays the piano and performed in the choir that sang at President Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration.” The regular readers of our college admissions blog are likely jumping out of their seats right now because they know that highly selective colleges don’t want well-rounded students. We’ve been saying it for a couple of decades now! Wang is marketing himself — and he likely presented himself in his application this way — as well-rounded when that is the precise opposite of what schools like Yale, Princeton, and Stanford seek.
Wang didn’t educate himself on the highly selective college admissions process. Had he read our blog, he’d know that making such a statement to “Business Insider” reflects a lack of understanding of the admissions process and it can serve as a key argument against the applicant by these three institutions should anything ever come of this complaint. But we suspect nothing will come of this complaint. Yale, Princeton, and Stanford may have very well rejected Michael Wang because the young man walks his talk of being well-rounded. And that’s not an advisable walk to take. We at Ivy Coach firmly stand with Yale, Princeton, and Stanford against the frivolous complaint of the misinformed Michael Wang.