Penn’s Dean of Admissions Fields Ridiculous Calls from Parents

If you happen to be the parent of a child who was denied admission to the University of Pennsylvania, we urge you not to call UPenn’s Dean of Admissions Eric Furda in the hope of making your child’s case for why he or she should be granted admission nonetheless. If you’re wondering who in their right mind would pick up the phone and lodge a call to the top admissions officer at the school that declined to admit your child to inquire about his rationale and to hopefully change his mind, well, we’re wondering the same thing. That’s nuts! No admissions officer wants to hear from the parents of rejected students and no admissions officer should have to respond to such nonsense. But, of course, Eric Furda, UPenn’s longtime Dean of Admissions, has a history of transparency and it’s certainly not surprising to us that he would field these ridiculous calls.

Only Ridiculous Parents Call the Admissions Office After Their Children Don’t Get In

As Trey Popp reports for The Pennsylvania Gazette in a piece entitled “College Admissions in Crisis,” “Since becoming dean of admissions in 2008, Eric Furda C’87 has fielded his fair share of calls from parents unhappy with his office’s decisions. These conversations have long tended to follow a certain pattern. ‘People would try to make their case for why their child should be admitted,’ he reflected in April. Their tone would start out polite and respectful, in the manner of a parent who simply wanted to understand why their child’s application fell short, and perhaps draw attention to some qualities and qualifications that may not have come through. ‘And then, maybe at the end of the call, some ugliness would come out: ‘By the way, you took a less talented student who was an athlete, or a minority student,’ or whatever,’ Furda continued, noting that these allegedly underqualified students would sometimes be singled out by name. Lately, he added, more and more calls play out differently. ‘What happened after the [presidential] election,’ he said, ‘is people led with that [ugliness].'”

Your Child May Have Been Rejected But You Still Have Your Dignity

What do these parents hope to gain from these calls, even if they approach the calls nicely and never make that turn toward ugliness as Dean Furda describes it? Do these parents really genuinely believe that they can boost the case for admission of their children who have been denied admission and/or sabotage the cases of other students who earned admission? Where do these parents gather the chutzpah? Are they delusional or just plain fed up and in need of a therapy session with the top admissions officer? Or maybe they’re just ridiculous Sidwell Friends parents up to their usual tricks? Wouldn’t that be funny…


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