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Koreans and Jews and 2020

Elite schools like Williams discriminated against Jewish applicants extensively 75 years ago. Today, Williams does the same against international students, especially applicants from places like Korea, China and India. EphBlog was the first to document that, at least three years ago, Williams had a quota of 6% for international students. This quota has been loosened in recent years: 47 out of 540 students in the class of 2011 are international (pdf). That 8.7% figure might not seem like a large increase from the 6% quota, but it is a 50% increase in the raw number of students (47 now versus 31 in the class of 2008).

Long time readers will recall that Williams is just doing what I recommended two years ago in a Record op-ed.

What is the solution? No sensible person recommends radical change. Start with small steps. First, select the best candidates from the waitlist to fill out the Class of 2010. Odds are that the vast majority of these will be international students. Second, increase the quota to 10 percent for the Class of 2011. If Harvard is 9 percent international, why is Williams 6 percent? Third, President Schapiro should appoint a committee of students, faculty and alumni to study the issue and report to the community. The 2002 ad hoc faculty committee on athletics provides a useful model. With more data and analysis, we will all have a better sense of what the policy should be.

8.7% is not quite 10% but I’ll give partial credit for the effort! Where is this debate going and where should it go? Recall that the College is currently engaged in the 2020 Project, an effort by the trustees and senior administrators to think hard about what Williams should look like in 2020 and what it needs to do to get there.

The single most important issue facing the College’s leadership is how “global” to make the Williams student body. Plausible cases can be made for keeping Williams where it is, at 10% international, or for going to 50% international. (You can’t have the best college in the world without the best students and at least half of the best students were not born in the United States.) Any percentage in between is reasonable as well.

Regular readers will be surprised to know that I (gasp!) do not know what the right answer is. Although international students have amazing credentials (hence the need for an admissions quota), there is some doubt as to how much they enjoy their time at Williams, how well they benefit from the experience and how connected they stay to Williams after graduation. My bias is that these concerns, while real, are little more than the same sorts of fears that caused elite colleges to restrict Jewish enrollment 75 years ago. I think that Williams ought to move quickly to 20% international and then, after a few years of evaluation and reflection, go to 50%.

But the issue is not what I (or you) think. I could be wrong! The issue is the process by which the College confronts this problem, the data that it collects, the people that it consults, the discussion which it encourages. Deciding on the best percentage for international enrollment is the most important decision to confront the leadership of Williams since President Jack Sawyer ’39 wrestled with the fraternity question almost 50 years ago. The President and Trustees should study how Sawyer handled that issue and use his approach as a template for action.

Further discussion, and a relevant news hook, below.

Consider this story from the New York Times.

It is 10:30 p.m. and students at the elite Daewon prep school here are cramming in a study hall that ends a 15-hour school day. A window is propped open so the evening chill can keep them awake. One teenager studies standing upright at his desk to keep from dozing.

A student and teacher at an elite South Korean school, the Minjok Leadership Academy, where sights are set on the Ivy League.

Kim Hyun-kyung, who has accumulated nearly perfect scores on her SATs, is multitasking to prepare for physics, chemistry and history exams.

“I can’t let myself waste even a second,” said Ms. Kim, who dreams of attending Harvard, Yale or another brand-name American college. And she has a good shot. This spring, as in previous years, all but a few of the 133 graduates from Daewon Foreign Language High School who applied to selective American universities won admission.

It is very important that Williams maintain its #1 ranking with U.S. News as the best liberal arts college in the country (and therefore the world). International students, for all their many virtues, are not very informed consumers. They know little about the US and less about the particularities of American higher education. Rankings matter to them. How to keep Williams at the top is a topic for another day, but getting rid of lectures can only help matters.

Note the Eph connection.

Both schools reserve admission for highly motivated students; the application process resembles that at many American colleges, where students are judged on their grade-point averages, as well as their performance on special tests and in interviews.

“Even my worst students are great,” said Joseph Foster, a Williams College graduate who teaches writing at Daewon. “They’re professionals; if I teach them, they’ll learn it. I get e-mails at 2 a.m. I’ll respond and go to bed. When I get up, I’ll find a follow-up question mailed at 5 a.m.”

South Korea is not the only country sending more students to the United States, but it seems to be a special case. Some 103,000 Korean students study at American schools of all levels, more than from any other country, according to American government statistics. In higher education, only India and China, with populations more than 20 times that of South Korea’s, send more students.

“Preparing to get to the best American universities has become something of a national obsession in Korea,” said Alexander Vershbow, the American ambassador to South Korea.

How can Williams harness that obsession? We should be reaching out more to these elite international prep schools. Surely there is a Williams alum in Korea who would be willing to visit the school. Perhaps it makes sense to establish close relationships with a handful of these feeder schools, just like the relationships that Williams had/has with New England prep schools, and take several students from them all each year. What sorts of students would we get?

Kim Hyun-kyung, 17, scored perfect 800s on the SAT verbal and math tests, and 790 in writing. She is scheduled to take nine Advanced Placement tests next month, in calculus, physics, chemistry, European history and five other subjects. One challenge: she has taken none of these courses. Instead, she is teaching herself in between classes at Daewon, buying and devouring textbooks.

So she is busy. She rises at 6 a.m. and heads for her school bus at 6:50. Arriving at Daewon, she grabs a broom to help classmates clean her classroom. Between 8 and noon, she hears Korean instructors teach supply and demand in economics, Korean soils in geography and classical poets in Korean literature.

At lunch she joins other raucous students, all, like her, wearing blue blazers, in a chow line serving beans and rice, fried dumpling and pickled turnip, which she eats with girlfriends. Boys, who sit elsewhere, wolf their food and race to a dirt lot for a 10-minute pickup soccer game before afternoon classes.

Kim Hyun-kyung joins other girls at a hallway sink to brush her teeth before reporting to French literature, French culture and English grammar classes, taught by Korean instructors. At 3:20, her English language classes begin. This day, they include English literature, taught by Mani Tadayon, a polyglot graduate of the University of California at Berkeley who was born in Iran, and government and politics, taught by Hugh Quigley, a former Wall Street lawyer.

Evening study hall begins at 7:45. She piles up textbooks on an adjoining desk, where they glare at her like a to-do list. Classmates sling backpacks over seats, prop a window open and start cramming. Three hours later, the floor is littered with empty juice cartons and water bottles. One girl has nodded out, head on desk. At 10:50 a tone sounds, and Ms. Kim heads for a bus that will wend its way through Seoul’s towering high-rise canyons to her home, south of the Han River.

“I feel proud that I’ve endured another day,” she said.

Indeed. There is a school of thought which argues that these are not the sorts of students Williams should accept. Better the more well-rounded and less high scoring US citizen. Maybe.

But now is the time to have that conversation. Conveniently enough, the Boston Alumni Society is meeting tonight and will feature a presentation by several trustees. (Any EphBlog readers should say Hi to the fellow in the orange sweater.) I will try to find out their thoughts and report back.

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#1 Comment By ronit On April 29, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

I suspect that by 2020, it will no longer be as easy to draw the conclusion that, for international students, the #1 ranked school in the US is automatically the best in the world.

I would bet on colleges in the UK, Canada, Europe, and Australia pulling ahead of the US as the preferred destination for the best English-speaking students worldwide.

This has little to do with Williams itself, and everything to do with the utter insanity of US visa and immigration regulations. There is no prospect in sight for a reversion to normalcy and openness any time soon. Why put yourself through the Kafkaesque absurdity of the process when there are other countries with excellent universities that might actually welcome you, even encourage you to stick around after graduating and contribute something to the economy?

#2 Comment By current eph On April 29, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

While the US might be more difficult to attend college in than the UK, Canada, Europe…etc, the best US schools are also distancing themselves from the best schools in other country. This is largely a matter of funding; schools like Williams and Harvard have their fundraising and endowment operations down to a T, while many of the best international schools including Oxford are still partially public and consequently tend to be relatively underfunded.

On the subject of the post, I think a lot of the disparity in admissions can be traced to cultural factors; US students tend to be more involved in their ECs than international students, and tend to be involved in a wider diversity of ECs. Williams doesn’t love the top-academic 1600 SAT all-state debater nearly as much as it loves the 1500 SAT near-top-academic all state tuba player and varsity tennis player. The latter is much more typical in the US than out.

Additionally, to a certain extent, we’re comparing apples to oranges when we compare international admits with the applicant pool as a whole. Instead, if we compare international admits to the non-tips, non-legacy, non-URM admit pool…well, the difference in admission rate doesn’t look quite so crazy anymore. If we assume that fewer internationals are flagged for music/theater/sports, it looks even less crazy. What percentage of non-legacy, non-URM, non-tipped, non-music/theater/sports flagged athletes get into Williams? My guess is that it’s a pretty darn small percentage.

I’m not necessarily doubting that there is some loose “target” for internationals admission percentage that Williams aims for…I just don’t think that it would make as huge of a difference in the make-up of Williams as you do if such a target didn’t exist, given all of the above factors.

#3 Comment By reader On April 29, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

It’s tough enough for high scoring US educated kids to get into first tier colleges. I am of the “school of thought which argues that these are not the sorts of students Williams should accept. Better the more well-rounded and [less] high scoring US citizen.”

#4 Comment By dkane On April 29, 2008 @ 4:32 pm

I’m not necessarily doubting that there is some loose “target” for internationals admission percentage that Williams aims for…I just don’t think that it would make as huge of a difference in the make-up of Williams as you do if such a target didn’t exist, given all of the above factors.

1) Great topic for a senior thesis!

2) I have discussed this with people involved in elite admissions. The claim that I have heard is that, while you are correct, that internationals can not really compete for the tip/URM slots, they do fine otherwise. Williams does not care that much or at all about playing varsity tennis unless you can play for Williams.

In other words, if we just hid the information on the application about whether or not the student was or was not a US citizen, Williams would be 1/3 international. I do not know if this claim is true, but it is consistent with the need for Williams to have a quota and the anecdotes we hear from international applicants.

#5 Comment By ronit On April 29, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

There’s pretty good evidence that the touchy-feely admissions process at top-tier US schools (especially the emphasis on sports) was crafted precisely in order to exclude unwanted minorities, especially Jews, who were seen as less likely to participate in such activities. Good to see that the arguments against admitting overqualified people who come from a strange culture have not changed in 80+ years:

http://www.ephblog.com/2005/10/06/brand-management/

#6 Comment By current eph On April 29, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

“Williams does not care that much or at all about playing varsity tennis unless you can play for Williams.”

As someone who worked closely with the Admissions Office during my time at Williams I can tell you, that is not true. Williams is not just looking for varsity soccer players, but also IM soccer players. Williams is not just looking for members of the Berkshire symphony, but for students who will join the marching band or even just play around on a guitar in the dorm. Williams emphasizes–more than most top schools–well rounded candidates in its admissions process. Obviously, Williams will still bite hard on candidates who show potential to be consistent leads in the plays, or first chair in Berkshire, but Williams cares very much about students who have shown serious EC commitments, even if those commitments don’t translate to Ws for the Williams hockey team.

There is probably no less accurate means of basing conclusions than on anecdotes of non-admitted students. Internationals are not the only demographic who feel slighted by Williams. I have heard numerous complaints about quotas from Asian-American students denied admission. However, Asians received–at least up until several years ago–a (positive) flag in the admissions process. In other words, being Asian provides a (very, very, very slight) bump in admissions.

#7 Comment By current eph On April 29, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

ronit–Williams’ commitment to a well-rounded student body has nothing to do with its desire to attract (or to limit) international students. Personally, I’m with Williams on this one–I would, without second thought, take a well rounded student with 1500 SATs over a non-well rounded student with 1600 SATs. I believe that value that a well rounded student adds to a college is significantly greater than the value that 100 SAT points add to the college.

All of that said, I’m fairly certain that Williams doesn’t weigh ECs that heavily; students who rank a 1 on the academic scale are almost always accepted. We’re talking more about the majority of the applicant pool who falls in the AR 3-4 (I think I’m getting these numbers correct) range, and could get in or couldn’t get in. In these cases, Williams’ admissions procedure generally favors equally qualified students who have done something interesting with their high school experience besides study.

#8 Comment By ronit On April 29, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

The New Yorker article in the earlier post is worth reading, at any rate:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/10/10/051010crat_atlarge

You can infer causality either way from the available evidence. Either Williams has a low rate of admissions for international students because it wants more well-rounded students, or it seeks out more well-rounded students because it wants to restrict the number of international (or Asian, or Jewish, or other unfashionable-minority-of-the-moment) students at Williams.

#9 Comment By dkane On April 29, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

The best part of these debate is discovering how the admissions office spreads its disinformation. current eph “worked closely with the Admissions Office” and so, one would think, knows what’s what. He assures me that I am wrong about tennis not mattering unless you can play for Williams. He thinks that the College wants IM soccer players. He is certain that

We’re talking more about the majority of the applicant pool who falls in the AR 3-4 (I think I’m getting these numbers correct) range, and could get in or couldn’t get in. In these cases, Williams’ admissions procedure generally favors equally qualified students who have done something interesting with their high school experience besides study.

Untrue! And the College admits as much. (pdf) If you are an AR 3-4, you have almost zero chance at getting into Williams unless you have a hook: major wealth or URM or tip or (maybe) legacy.

If the first and second readers’ academic ratings differ by more than a point, they put their heads together to try to reach a consensus rating. In general, all applicants with a combined academic rating of 3 or higher are rejected at this point, unless the first and second readers have identified one or more “attributes” that warrant additional consideration.

Without hooks, AR 3s and 4s are doomed.

Don’t believe everything that your “friends” in Admissions tell you.

#10 Comment By frank uible On April 29, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

If Williams uses the Sawyer, fraternity abolishing “template” for admissions decisions in the future, then it doesn’t give a damn for what you morons think about the process, but those decisions will be made arrogantly, undemocratically, deceitfully, paternalistically and without adequate foresight relative to consequences by a Star Chamber.

#11 Comment By Jeff Z. On April 29, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

David nothing you are saying is inconsistent with current Eph. Below a certain threshold, your only prayer of getting admitted to Williams is a hook … big time athlete, superstar artist, URM, etc. But I’d like to think, and have no reason NOT to believe, that among academically qualified applicants who don’t have a hook, Williams highly values an interesting group of activities, interests and accomplishment moreso than being a test taking machine. Again, you have to be a very strong student to even warrant consideration in this group, but I am not sure Williams wants (and I don’t think it should want) a bunch of maniacal studiers locked in a room for 18 years so they can achieve 1600 SAT’s and 5’s on 20 AP tests.

#12 Comment By current eph On April 29, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

As I said, I don’t really remember the numbers. The rest of my point stands.

#13 Comment By hwc On April 29, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

I disagree with two points:

a) International enrollment at Williams (or any other school) is limited by the tuition discounts the schools is prepared to offer. The average international student gets very close to a free-ride deal. To enroll more internationals, you have to increase the budget for discounting tuition.

b) No school will stay #1 in USNEWS for more than a few years in a row. USNEWS will juggle some arcane aspect of the formula to mix things up. That’s how they sell magazines.

#14 Comment By Sam Jackson On April 30, 2008 @ 12:24 am

I have a 20 page paper due on Friday which needs working on much too badly for me to get involved much in what I can imagine will be a very exciting conversation here, but have to stay out of it :(

Just to respond to #1, ronit- I don’t know if this is true for Williams, but for Yale, at least at certain embassies, it is very common story among many internationals I know that they would come up to the embassy for their visa applications and watch people behind and in front of them be rejected, rejected, rejected and then when they saw Yale, they’d get rubber stamped, practically–we have many fewer problems dealing with visa quotas than college XYZ. Williams is not XYZ, though, and I wonder if they benefit from similar treatment?

#15 Comment By FROSH mom On April 30, 2008 @ 12:53 am

(b) No school will stay #1 in USNEWS for more than a few years in a row.

Yeah…I’m inclined to agree with you hwc. They’re bound to lower their opinion of Williams at some point…especially if they read your posts.

#16 Comment By hwc On April 30, 2008 @ 1:37 am

As you may know, the USNEWS rankings are the weighted average of about ten different numeric indices. USNEWS usually changes the weighting, or drops one (like yield) or adds one or something every few years.

For example, the addition of a “peformance” versus “estimated” graduation rate was the last big change that shook up the ratings and moved Williams to the top after about five years of Swarthmore/Amherst topping the charts. It’s all rather arcane.

They are already doing “manual adjustments” to the estimated graduation rate (because it dropped CalTech down below Appalachian State), so that measure might get revised.

#17 Comment By dkane On April 30, 2008 @ 8:27 am

[hwc] I realize that international enrollment has generally been expensive in the past, but does that still apply to students from places like the Korean academies described in the article? One of the schools costs $15,000 per year and the other has parents that “tend to be wealthy doctors, lawyers or university professors.” So, I think that taking 20 students from these schools would be no more expensive than taking 20 random US students. I agree with you that only Williams and a handful of other schools are rich enough to not worry about this.

But my sense is that several factors make this not nearly as expensive a proposition to Williams as it would have been even ten years ago: 1) the rapidly increasing wealth of countries like China/India/Korea and 2) the wealth of the families that send their children to the sort of expensive English-language immersion high schools that we would recruit from and 3) the price-cutting that Williams is doing for many US students anyway.

But I am no expert on this topic.

[current eph] I don’t know how much impact being a tennis player (who can’t play at Williams) gives one in admissions. If your admissions friends said this is a help, then maybe it is. But note that we are talking about AR 2s here. Although the mapping from Williams to Amherst ratings is not perfect, here is what an AR 2 means:

1440-1510 SATs; most As; top 5% of high school class

So, maybe among these intellectually elite students being a tennis player helps. But note that the vast majority of these applicants do something already. If you come from an elite high school (as many of these applicants will) it is essentially impossible not to do various ECs. So, while it may be true that the College turns down AR 2s that don’t do anything outside of academics, this doesn’t eliminate more than a small portion of the applicants.

Does the College prefer AR 2s who spend 10 hours a week playing tennis (and who can’t play for Williams) over those who spend 10 hours a week volunteering or 10 hours a week doing theater? I have my doubts.

But, as you say, we may be in agreement about all these facts.

But the topic here is not: How should Williams choose among AR 2 applicants? The topic is: Should Williams replace 50 AR 2 students who are US citizens with 50 AR 1 students who are not US citizens — students from places like Daewon and Minjok and their counterparts in China and India.

Even to the extent that these students don’t have the ludicrous number of ECs that US students cram their applicant with, AR 1s should still beat out AR 2s, as they do among US applicants. And, just as the Admissions Office does not penalize students at lousy high schools for not taking a bunch of APs since their schools don’t offer them, a fair admissions office would not punish an applicant from these schools for not playing a sport in high school of their schools don’t offer sports.

#18 Comment By JG On April 30, 2008 @ 9:29 am

David, you said:

Even to the extent that these students don’t have the ludicrous number of ECs that US students cram their applicant with, AR 1s should still beat out AR 2s, as they do among US applicants.

I guess my question is whether or not that is true? Does an AR 1 from the US automatically beat an AR 2 from the US, or are there other considerations? Obviously, all things being equal a 1 beats 2, but the academic rating is just one part of the decision, isn’t it?

An AR 1 who does nothing but study, in my opinion, isn’t a better candidate than an AR 2 who plays a sport or instrument or paints or volunteers or is president of student government or holds down a part-time job. It says something about the ability of the person overall to fit into Williams and make a contribution to the community if s/he can study and do something (anything) else.

Certainly a student shouldn’t be punished if there school doesn’t offer sports, but are there no other activities? Does the student have a job or volunteer?

#19 Comment By Larry George On April 30, 2008 @ 9:34 am

Whatever the answer, the College needs to (and works to) integrate students from overseas (and all students, for that matter) into the mainstream life of Williams. That is critical to the vibrancy of a small residential liberal arts college. Perhaps applicants with certain types of profiles (team experience at any level of expertise, leadership within the high school or wider community, political involvement, …) are viewed as having the indicia of likeliness to become engaged in the mainstream of life at Williams and those experiences are valued for that reason.

True, the opportunities may not be there or the students may not be savvy about taking advantage of or forging opportunities, but I have a lot of empathy with the admission staff.

In graduate school, I lived for a semester in a dorm that was at least 50% “foreign” students. There was no residential hall social life. Few of my hallmates did much beyond spend 18 hours a day in the library, despite extraordinarily rich opportunities offered by the university. Many students formed tiny groups with a few others from their countries. They ate together, walked to the library together, did their laundry together, and rarely spoke to anyone outside the group. That was understandable, but it was not good for anyone or for the university. Some of the Americans tried hard (most much, much harder than I) to get to know the overseas students, but without a lot of success. After a semester, the situation hardened further with a mass exodus of the American students. That’s a worst case scenario, but I can understand the worry.

#20 Comment By ronit On April 30, 2008 @ 10:29 am

@Sam – when I applied for my visa, the Williams name definitely helped to speed up the process. The consular officer was quite impressed. But I doubt that outweighs the systematic flaws in the process.

#21 Comment By current eph On April 30, 2008 @ 11:25 am

David–we don’t disagree. I am not arguing that Williams weights a 10 hour/week tennis commitment more heavily than a 10 hour/week theater commitment unless a student appears likely to be a theater or tennis star.

Whatever number we are talking about (2s or 3s), we are talking about the majority of applicants to Williams. There are relatively few AR 1s, and while there may be a bit more 3s and 4s, few of them stand much of a chance of getting into Williams without a pretty significant hook.

Now, I don’t know that it’s necessarily true that Williams persistently accepts AR 2 US students over AR 1 International students. My gut is that this is not the case–8% of the student body is international, and that would represent a very high percentage of the total international applicant pool rated 1s already, and that is assuming that every international 1 is accepted. I think it’s much more likely that rejected international students typically fall into the AR-2 (and lower) categories, and don’t participate in as many ECs as US students.

However, even if Williams does accept well-rounded AR 2 US students over one-dimensional AR 1 international students, I don’t have a problem with that. AR 2 students are plenty smart and plenty qualified to be at Williams. The difference between AR 2 and AR 1 is approximately 50 points on the SAT and the difference between being top 5% and being 1st or 2nd in one’s class. Personally, I believe that a student with strong EC commitments adds much more to Williams than a student who was 2nd in their class (instead of being, say, 10th). That’s just me, though–I suspect that many of those who feel like internationals are consistently slighted feel differently.

#22 Comment By Sam Jackson On April 30, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

Bigger problem with USNEWS is not the manual adjustments, but the systemic distortions put in place to keep the same schools in the same “Expected” positions so that the rankings dovetail with normal perceptions. See writings about their “logarithmic adjustment factor” as it affects Caltech and other schools; Steve Hsu @ Information Processing has some good writing about it. That’s just IMO, the thing that skews rankings much more… but the entire history is kinda a sham when you look at it.

#23 Pingback By Does Yale Need More International Students? at Anna’s Out of Town News On April 30, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

[…] here is a link to an post about international admissions at Williams. There is a lot I would like to say about it, but I am […]

#24 Comment By hwc On April 30, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

For anyone interested, this link will take you to a Chronicle of Higher Education webpage with a chart showing the USNEWS rank of all top liberal arts colleges each year back to 1983.

You can click on any year in the chart and sort the rankings for that year.

By following any one college (below the top 3) across the page, it’s pretty easy to identify years when USNEWS changed their ranking system — the only plausible explanation for a college moving from say 12 to 8 to 21 over a 3 year span. Colleges don’t actually change much year to year, so we know that movement wasn’t actually measuring anything real.

Enjoy.

#25 Comment By current eph On April 30, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

That’s neat! However, I would be hesitate to assume that colleges don’t change much from year to year. For example, I would wager that Oberlin’s fall from the top 10 in the 80s to the mid 20s now is more a reflection in the change in the school than in the rankings (I think most people would agree that Oberlin’s not exactly at its prime now). On the other hand, Williams’ most recent rise from 3rd to 1st corresponds with the increase in faculty to support the tutorial system…the difference between 1st and 3rd is so slight, that the change from an 8:1 faculty:student ratio to a 7:1 ratio, and a change from a good faculty resources ranking to an excellent faculty resources ranking quite easily could have been the kicker.

That said, I fully expect Williams to “fall” from the number 1 spot within the next few years, if not next year–not necessarily because I think USNews will intentionally jumble things up, but because I think year-to-year small fluctuations can typically be enough to switch up the top 3. Ultimately, I think we can all agree that the appreciable differences between Williams, Amherst, and Swarthmore are far more issues of “fit” than potential quality (which, I guess you can say, is what USNews attempts to measure).

#26 Comment By Anna Ershova On May 1, 2008 @ 10:54 pm

“I realize that international enrollment has generally been expensive in the past, but does that still apply to students from places like the Korean academies described in the article? One of the schools costs $15,000 per year and the other has parents that “tend to be wealthy doctors, lawyers or university professors.” So, I think that taking 20 students from these schools would be no more expensive than taking 20 random US students. I agree with you that only Williams and a handful of other schools are rich enough to not worry about this.”

This is not entirely true. The Korean schools in question are great (in fact, Minjok Academy was one of only 2 non-US schools on the World Street Journal’s top-50 high schools list in 2007; the list was made based on the acceptance rate at the most prestigious US schools). But a lot of their Ivy League-bound students receive finaid. Until around 10 years ago, students attended it for free (then one of their major donors went bankrupt, so they had to make student pay).

I attended the other non-US high school on that list; around 80% of our students, I believe, receive finaid. I can safely claim that more than a half received full scholarships. This means that when my classmates apply to college, they have to apply for some very extensive finaid — and they usually get it.

#27 Comment By Anna Ershova On May 1, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

“Just to respond to #1, ronit- I don’t know if this is true for Williams, but for Yale, at least at certain embassies, it is very common story among many internationals I know that they would come up to the embassy for their visa applications and watch people behind and in front of them be rejected, rejected, rejected and then when they saw Yale, they’d get rubber stamped, practically–we have many fewer problems dealing with visa quotas than college XYZ. Williams is not XYZ, though, and I wonder if they benefit from similar treatment?”

Just to comment on that. Sam was actually telling my story: I watched *many* student visa applications rejected after a long interview in the US embassy; when it was my turn, I got my visa right away, without any interview just because I was going to Yale. Most of my friends who go to Ivy League/top liberal arts schools had the same experience.

Every once in a while, there is mainland Chinese student who cannot get their US student visa to attend Yale. Then someone in the international admissions office at Yale picks up the phone to call a Yale alum working for a US embassy in Beijing – and the visa issue is sorted out right away. Admissions officers at less-known colleges often do not have resources like this, and every year, many Chinese students cannot attend a US college because their visa application was denied. Here’s another reason to want to go to a brand-name school if you are an international…

#28 Comment By David Broadband On May 2, 2008 @ 12:44 am

Intellectual capital investments in advocating trade liberalization as a proven method has been used as an argument to harvest future liberalization trends including education.

The dissemination of technology and the concept of open markets with their different methodologies and estimates promised huge dividends to the US which underwrote these policies based on projected gains.

These assumptions were solely based on the outcome of multilateral, regional, and bilateral agreements as well as unilateral policy changes.

Questions of causality and numerous omitted variables in statistical analysis between trade and growth underlie the uncertainty surrounding robust estimates.

Models are used that omit geography, size, demographics, and social and behavioral dynamics in order to create predictive values representing elastic measures as a means of adjusting policy exposure.

We are told that we gain when we acquire a larger array of diversity and immigration liberalization. That liquifying assets increases scales of efficiency. Using sifting and sorting as main mechanisms, our presenters are attempting to estimate dividends from these stimulative moves as a new model towards excellence while we observe our potential student populations entry, exit, and reallocation to low productivity schools.

Gains from these perspectives are convincing, where cultures, peoples and diverse lifestyles are swept from history.

The question we must ask is whether such great progress in investments towards liberalization will realize substantial benefits to the US in its future. In other words, are market consideration valid for social systems? It appears that our societies today are under the influence of competing trading systems.

Can we consider the “gravity model”, where the effects of common language, shared borders, common relationships and other variables affect our admissions policies?

The distribution of gains from our economic policies which have impacted our admissions policies as a direct result of our political economy of trade liberalization has failed to take into account the benefits to our native households where the real benefits are concentrated on an increasingly smaller fraction of Americans as viewed from the continuing viewed yield results.

#29 Pingback By Financial Aid for International Students » EphBlog On May 20, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

[…] today’s entry is international financial aid. In discussing the Korean prep school story, I had speculated that the increasing wealth in countries like Korea, coupled with the high […]