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Maybe I missed the point of the Viewpoints article entitled "Harvard admissions policy hypocritical" in The News Dec. 11. Where's the hypocrisy? Virtually all of the Ivy League universities admit more minority students than their counterparts in the public sector.

"The Insiders' Guide to the Colleges" reports these percentages:

Private - Columbia, 26; Harvard, 24; Brown, 20; Yale, 19; Princeton, 18; Cornell, 16; Dartmouth, 16; Pennsylvania, 13.

Public - CUNY Queens, 31; Massachusetts, 8; Rhode Island, 5; Connecticut, 8; Rutgers, 21; Binghamton, 11; New Hampshire, 1; Penn State, 8.

As the past president of the Princeton University Alumni Association of Western New York, I am most familiar with that institution. Candidates are accepted on a need-blind basis. Support is available for all those who require it.

The article is correct -- there appear to be some special categories for admission, such as minorities, athletes, alumni children, and the artistically talented.

Being in a special category doesn't guarantee admission; rather it may equate to a few points on test scores and/or grade point average.

Regarding alumni, there is no question that it is in the institution's self-interest to give preference to children from families that are interested in supporting it financially.

If private colleges are to continue to stay away from the public treasury, they must rely on support of individual alumni and the corporations and foundations they represent. However, during the past 30 years, the more selective colleges have become more national, cosmopolitan and egalitarian in scope. Look at the statistics above and consider what a mixed lot alumni kids will be 20 years from now.

The Ivy League does not grant athletic scholarships. Athletes on financial aid qualify for it just like their less athletic classmates. In order for the coaches to fill up their squads, some admissions preference has to be given to those with superior athletic ability.

The selective colleges are looking for well-rounded undergraduates. Grades and test scores alone won't get you in.


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