Does Harvard Hate Small Towns Too?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

The internal documents dripping out of Harvard in its case against Students for Fair Admissions does not paint a pretty institutional image of the Ivy League colossus. “When Megan Turner (not her real name) asked her high school teacher for help applying to Harvard, she hoped for a glowing letter of recommendation,” Shera S. Avi-Yonah and Molly C. McCafferty reported in The Harvard Crimson on October 24, 2018. “What she got was a ‘negative’ essay referencing her ‘”small-town” insecurity’ that almost sank her candidacy, according to previously confidential papers released in the Harvard admissions trial Monday.”

“The teacher’s recommendation ‘raise[d] flags about [Megan’s] personal qualities, her ability to interact with others, and her “brightness,”‘ the filing reads. Details of Megan’s case — as well as evaluations of 10 other Harvard hopefuls also given fake names — surfaced in a 13-page court filing titled ‘Discussion Guide to the 2012 Casebook.’ Each summer, the College’s Admissions Office profiles a handful of previous applicants in a ‘casebook’ and distributes it to employees. The book is meant to teach staffers how to evaluate candidates, Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath ’70 testified last week.”