High schooler who wrote op-ed about college rejection pays enrollment deposit to the University of Michigan
Earlier this year a snarky op-ed about the expectations of elite universities sparked a national conversation about the college application process.
According to U-M admissions director Ted Spencer, Weiss plans to enroll in the Ann Arbor school in fall 2014. She graduates from high school this summer and plans to take a year off from school and travel abroad.
"I thought she was one of the more delightful files that I've ever read. She poked fun of herself as well as making some wonderful statements about who she is," Spencer said of her application. "The kinds of comments that her counselors and teachers made were just wonderful."
In her March 29 Journal piece entitled 'To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me,' Weiss said she had dreamed of going to Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, but the Pittsburgh high school senior was rejected despite a reported 4.5 GPA.
"Colleges tell you, 'Just be yourself.' That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms. Then by all means, be yourself!" She wrote. "If you work at a local pizza shop and are the slowest person on the cross-country team, consider taking your business elsewhere."
For more than a week after it was published, the op-ed was the most-read article on the Journal's website. On the Today Show in early April, Weiss said her op-ed was satire, using jokes to illustrate the seeming absurdity of the college application process.
"Everyone my age, whether they wanted to get into Penn State their whole lives or Harvard, is agreeing with me that it's just a rat race nowadays and it's such a business model as opposed to who's most qualified should get in," she said. "It's a crapshoot and I understand that."
While she was rejected from the Ivy League colleges she dreamt of during her youth, she did get into several Big Ten schools— including U-M. When asked by a Today Show host where Weiss was going to college, she coughed 'Go Blue.'
Weiss is one of 6,450 of the 15,430 applicants U-M admitted to pay his or her enrollment deposit. The school had a 33 percent acceptance rate this year, its lowest in recent history.
Spencer called Weiss' op-ed humorous.
"She took a risk in writing that article," he said. "A lot of times we ask kids to take a risk but we also tell them when you take a risk it may not be received by the people who are reading it the same way that you intended."
Some students who pay their nonrefundable enrollment deposit end up not going to the school. For example, of the 6,450 students who paid their enrollment deposit for entry into the fall 2013 class, Spencer expects a few hundred to attend schools elsewhere.
"I think she'll be a great addition to the University of Michigan," Spencer said of Weiss.