Today Show: Suzy Weiss Op-Ed “To (All) The Colleges That Rejected Me”

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Today Show: Suzy Weiss Op-Ed Piece In Wall Street Journal 

Getting into college is not easy to do. College acceptance letters and rejection letters have been pouring into mailboxes all around the country these past few weeks, sending some teens into a fit of excitement and others into a day of self loathing. But Suzy Weiss was not going to take her rejection from numerous schools, many of them ivy schools, sitting down. She was going to fight the rejections with her op-ed piece, “To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me.”

Suzy Weiss: Perfect Student Not Diverse Enough For College

Weiss has a 4.5 GPA, she scored a 2120 on the SAT and she interned as a page in the Senate. What school wouldn’t want this young woman to represent them and study on their campus? Princeton and Yale are just two of the universities that rejected her. Weiss said it is her lack of diversity that pushed the universities to reject her.

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Today Show: Suzy Weiss Op-Ed "To (All) The Colleges That Rejected Me"

The Today Show talked with Suzy Weiss, a high school student who wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about being rejected from numerous colleges.

“What could I have done differently over the past years?” writes Weiss in her op-ed piece. “For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would’ve happily come out of it.”

Weiss continues in the op-ed to take jabs at all the people she thinks let her down, from her parents not sending her to music lessons to the universities not accepting applications without some type of diversity. Some critics of the piece have said she is being whiney while others have praised the op-ed for shunning political correctness and pointing out the flaws with college admissions.

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Today Show: “To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me”

Weiss said she wrote the piece after being continually rejected from colleges. She said her mother had enough of her complaining and sent her to talk with her sister who thought Weiss’ ranting about her rejection letters was worthy of being written down.

Weiss didn’t say she was bitter towards the colleges, although some might argue her tone in the op-ed did that for her, but she did say she has worked her whole life volunteering, studying hard and interning where she could, only to be rejected because she is so “plain.” She said there are students who do volunteer work simply to pad their resume, which sometimes helps them to get in. But Weiss said if they “scoop up some suffering child, take a few pictures, and write the essays about how spending that afternoon with Kinto changed my life,” they might have been accepted into school.

To all her critics, Weiss said the piece was meant to be satire. She said she has been getting a lot of response from other teenagers who feel the same way as she does. “We are being judged on things we cannot control,” Weiss said.

Weiss’ big pity party did end well for her though. She has been getting job offers, internship offers and school acceptance letters from a number of Big Ten universities. But Weiss is one of the lucky ones. She has done the work to get into a good college but how many teenagers grace the pages of the Wall Street Journal? Not very many. I fell like Weiss is mad she didn’t get into a college because she feels she deserved to get into any college she wanted. Just because you do the work, doesn’t always mean you get the reward. Let us know what you think about the piece in the comment section below.

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Comments

  1. Mary Ryan says

    My daughter Sophie has a 4.2 GPA, is the lead jazz guitarist in the school orchestra, got 710 adn 750 on her SATs, was Varsity Ultimate Frisbee assist captain, and they won state champs. For 2 months she taught English to Tibetan refugees.
    Sophie got into all her safety schools: UVM, Umass Amherst. She was rejected at every other school: Brown, Wesleyan, Tufts, Cornell. I find that it is DISGUSTING how she has not been rewarded for hard work, and also being an interesting person, as well. Her essays for the college app were funny, and full of joy. In the end, our 2 other children, younger than she, came to the right conclusion: travel more, sleep in late some days, gets As and Bs, keep up your sports and exercise–and you’ll still get into UVM!

  2. says

    Mary, your story is pretty shocking to me. Are you sure there’s not some other inconsistency in your daughter’s app? With those qualifications, I would think she would have at least gotten Wesleyan / Tufts, and probably should have gotten Cornell as well.

    A little bit about me. I graduated from Columbia University in 2007 and honestly your daughter’s achievements are comparable to mine, if not better. I had 4.3 GPA, 730/790/800 SAT, VP of Debate Team, State Honor Band Flutist, Varsity Golf/Cross Country, National Honors Society/CSF president, and a few other things. I won a couple Rotary International speech competitions and became fluent in Japanese at a young age, while also traveling there to spend a summer doing immersion work. Honestly IT’S ALL ABOUT POSITIONING. A lot of my leadership positions were, admittedly, hollow. We met maybe 1-2x a month and didn’t do all that much, but it’s SO important to talk up your achievements. I’m realizing this now during my current application process to business school. I was shocked that given I graduated with honors from Columbia and worked on Wall Street and in a foreign country for 2 years, Harvard Business School would actually reject me, but it happened. The process is crappy, no doubt. Those with the “loudest voice” and the best positioning / most coherent story usually win. Brand names help too — for high schoolers, brand name extracurrics like Boys/Girls’ Nation, Rotary, Model UN, for MBA aspirants, brand name work experience like McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Teach for America. When you think about it, the elite universities are not too different from superficial gold-digging trophy wives: they want the spouse who works for a brand name firm, lives in an upscale neighborhood, and is involved with brand-name causes like the Gates Foundation. If you know the game, it’s very easy to game the system.

    Also as an aside, it’s worthy to note that the girl in question, Suzy Weiss, got a 2120 on her SAT. Is she really that surprised to be rejected by Yale and Princeton? That’s a very mediocre score for those schools, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 2300+ would have been a more competitive score, unless you’re a triple minority (i.e. racial minority, divorced parents, and homosexual).

    Sorry if my commentary is a bit brash, but I guarantee it’s accurate, for undergrad and graduate school. I currently co-run an admissions consultancy helping students get into medical school, and these issues are prevalent even there, albeit less pronounced.

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