As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well, we love to point out the heroes and villains of elite college admissions to keep things interesting. Heroes like Duke University’s Dean of Admissions Christoph Guttentag who we’ve applauded through the years for telling it like it is. For years, Duke asked applicants on their supplement if they worked with private college counselors. Dean Guttentag later eliminated this prompt. His reasoning? Why ask a question applicants weren’t going to be candid about anyway? Fair point! Heroes like writer Malcolm Gladwell who we’ve cheered on as he’s dissected the US News & World Report college rankings. And villains like Brennan Barnard, a prep school counselor in New England, who pens columns arguing that students shouldn’t be obsessed with attending elite universities and that Early policies are bad for college applicants. In the past, we’ve pointed out this prep school counselor’s hypocrisy. Today, we believe we caught him red-handed in his utter hypocrisy yet again. Allow us to share.
In the past, Mr. Barnard has criticized Early policies, arguing essentially that they’re designed with the interest of colleges in mind — but not students. He has argued that applying Early essentially forces college applicants to make a manufactured decision to fall in love with a college. Well, in a throwaway line in his Forbes editorial this week, Mr. Barnard writes, “She is also the mother of a high school senior who, like my son, is awaiting a decision from an early application.” So, Mr. Barnard, who laments America’s obsession with elite universities — all as he features a young man in Yale gear as his Twitter avatar — is seemingly critical of policies from which his own son stands to benefit. In short, if he was so against Early policies, his son wouldn’t have applied Early.
Oh the hypocrisy of the man of the people, the college counselor from The Derryfield School in New Hampshire who moonlights as the Director of College Counseling at US Performance Academy, an online high school for competitive athletes in totally “of the people” kind of sports like bobsledding, sailing, and synchronized swimming. Oh the hypocrisy. Bye Felicia!
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