Sasha Gsovski ’06 gets a brief mention in this article about college admissions.

At Williams College this week, junior Sasha Gsovski, 20, said parents who take tours of the Williamstown, Massachusetts, campus often ask her what her SAT scores are so they can gauge their children’s chances.

“I’ve been asked my G.P.A.,” said Gsovski, who said she never tells. “They all just want to know about how to get in.”

No kidding. I was never asked those questions during my tour guide years, but perhaps times have changed. The article begins with:

In the latest sign of escalating anxiety over college admissions, a pair of consultants is offering a three-day “boot camp” in New York City that costs $10,000 — more than tuition at a mid-sized state university.

“I was stunned,” William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said yesterday in a phone interview. “It does say a great deal about the anxiety out there, and it’s sad.”

Give me a break. People like Fitzsimmons spend a career telling people that Harvard, and places like it, are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Is is any wonder that students and parents get a little anxious? How can I not hope and strive to provide such wonderfulnesses to my daughters?

Now, there is nothing wrong with Fitzsimmons claiming, correctly, that such boot camps are almost certainly a waste of money. There is nothing wrong with noting, correctly, that people are anxious. But don’t cry crocodile tears about how “sad” it all is unless you are willing to also point out that there is little if any evidence that, holding all else constant, attending Harvard is actually that wonderful, that many (even most) students would be better off going elsewhere. If you do this, then you can remark on the sadness of the remaining frenzy for Harvard.

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