There’s a piece in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania, by Vibha Kannan about how the UPenn admissions offices aims to recruit students from all across the country but, like many highly selective universities, struggles to do so in some parts of America. Like Mississippi. There just aren’t tons of well qualified applicants applying from a state like Mississippi. Mississippi is not New York.
Referenced in the piece is New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, which regularly sends dozens and dozens of its graduates to Ivy League colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in mathematics to recognize that most Ivy League colleges admit more students from Stuyvesant than they do from a number of American states, combined. That says something.
It’s challenging for all schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, to appeal to students in states where it’s not exactly ingrained in the culture to go out and explore the world (as a student from Mississippi so asserts in the piece in “The Daily Pennsylvanian”). As to the challenge at Penn, Kannan writes, “Through standardized tests like the PSAT, Penn can use the data they receive from College Board to mail and email prospective students. However, even this outreach method has its limitations in attracting students from remote geographic locations.” It sure does. And while Penn and other highly selective colleges don’t rely simply on marketing from standardized testing to appeal to those in more remote parts of America, it still can sometimes be an uphill battle.