As far as I know, the College refuses to reveal the winners of Tyng Scholarships. At the very least, I can’t find any such listing on the College’s website. Is that a good policy? I don’t know. A case might be made either way. But, in the era if Questbridge, the secret is out. Tyng winners in the class of 2010 include:

Eden Amerson
Steven Cheng
Shirish Poudyal
Emily Rockett
Thomas Rubinsky


1) Congratulations to all! We welcome you to the land of the Ephs.

2) Are these the only Tyng winners for the class of 2010?

3) What is the process by which Tyng winners are selected? I am not questioning these choices, I just want to understand the basic mechanics. My understanding is that no one “applies” for the Tyng. You just apply to Williams and, if you are lucky, the College includes a note that you have won a Tyng along with the acceptance letter. But how are Tyngs picked? Do the Tyng Administrators play a role or is this all done by the admissions office? What are the criteria? Why were these 5 picked, instead of, for example, the the other 5 Questbridge students accepted by Williams?

4) I do not like the fact that none of the Tyng winners are African-American (judging by their pictures). If it were me, Tyng Awards would be focused on bringing highly qualified African-American students to Williams. Almost every such applicant with Williams-caliber credentials is accepted by Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford. Historically, Williams often used the Tyng to convince such students to choose Williams instead. Has the policy changed?

6) I learned my lesson last year about connecting Williams policies to specific individuals. So, you will see no commentary from me on the individuals listed above. Reading many of the personal statements (for Williams and non-Williams people), I am struck by how critical a role the love and support of their families plays in the lives of these students.

Yet that leaves a riddle for all of those who, like Anthony Marx, think that the goal of bringing more “low-income” students, especially Questbridge applicants, into Williams should be a very high priority. (For me, it isn’t.) The riddle:

Who is more disadvantaged: a student with parents who love her and each other, but make $50,000 per year or a student with parents who don’t love her (and hate each other) but making $100,000?

For me the answer is obvious. I would much rather my daughters were raised in a loving family than in a rich one. Would any reader disagree? All the people who argue that the lack of socio-economic diversity at Williams is an important problem seem to, paradoxically, place too much emphasis on the importance and effects of family income instead of family support. If you want to worry about anyone, worry about applicants who lack caring parents.

UPDATE: Thanks to Guy for pointing the link errors. Now fixed.

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