dcham

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Does anybody else think this issue of legacy students is BS? So what if your dad went to Harvard and so what if you come from a rich New England family with three other siblings in ivy league schools. This is America damnit and the best applicants should get into the best med schools (I'm a little bitter in case you didn't notice). I read somewhere that at Columbia around 40% of the students are legacy students. That is craptastic.
 

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You're right - this is America. Welcome to capitalism. If you don't like it, there is a little island about 70 miles south of Florida that you might want to visit.
 

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dcham said:
Does anybody else think this issue of legacy students is BS? So what if your dad went to Harvard and so what if you come from a rich New England family with three other siblings in ivy league schools. This is America damnit and the best applicants should get into the best med schools (I'm a little bitter in case you didn't notice). I read somewhere that at Columbia around 40% of the students are legacy students. That is craptastic.
i read that same post about columbia and i think that person may have had their numbers incorrect. 40% seems waaaayyy too high for legacy students anywhere and I find that hard to believe. but i agree, i hate answering all the questions about whether or not my parents went to the school or are faculty at the school because the answer is always no. i guess if i was a legacy, i'd take whatever help i could get and be thankful but it definitely is unfortunate for those of us who are not. i really don't think that there are tons of students who get in on legacy though so i try not to lose any sleep over it. i've also known qualified students with legacy connections up the whazoo that didn't get into places (for undergrad, at least).
 

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dcham said:
Does anybody else think this issue of legacy students is BS? So what if your dad went to Harvard and so what if you come from a rich New England family with three other siblings in ivy league schools. This is America damnit and the best applicants should get into the best med schools (I'm a little bitter in case you didn't notice). I read somewhere that at Columbia around 40% of the students are legacy students. That is craptastic.
While I agree with your overall point, I seriously doubt that any place takes such a high percentage of legacies. And who says legacies are necessarilly not sometimes among the best applicants (they are not always mutually exclusive categories). But the truth of the matter is that schools depend to some extent on rich alumni donations, though, and having multi-generational alumni has historically resulted in greater $. This is as much an American tradition as is the meritocracy you advocate.
 

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dcham said:
Does anybody else think this issue of legacy students is BS? So what if your dad went to Harvard and so what if you come from a rich New England family with three other siblings in ivy league schools. This is America damnit and the best applicants should get into the best med schools (I'm a little bitter in case you didn't notice). I read somewhere that at Columbia around 40% of the students are legacy students. That is craptastic.
if that's true, that sucks and is unfair. btw are they referring specifically to the med schooll or does law school or undergrad count as well? what if no one else in your family ever considered medicine? I'm from a family of lawyers **gasp**
 

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While I agree with your overall point, I seriously doubt that any place takes such a high percentage of legacies. And who says legacies are necessarilly not sometimes among the best applicants (they are not always mutually exclusive categories). But the truth of the matter is that schools depend to some extent on rich alumni donations, though, and having multi-generational alumni has historically resulted in greater $. This is as much an American tradition as is the meritocracy you advocate.
Some ivies takes something like 50% of legacy applicants. That's not to say they all go there, but half of legacy students get accepted. And it's probably a good bet they they are slightly better - on average - than the general applicant pool. Anyway, even if I was a legacy, I would like to think that I got in on my own merit, not on daddy's donation record.
 

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My freshman year roommate at Penn was a legacy. Her SAT scores were well-below the average for accepted students, and I don't think she would've gotten in without her daddy. Of course, I'm also biased since it came down a slap-fight between us about mid-year through. And yes, I pulled the legacy card out on her.

It's a sensitive topic for those lucky few who fall into the legacy category.
 

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I guess I'm in the minority. I'm not a legacy and I really don't care if schools give preference to legacies. That nod to alumns probably gets the schools a lot of big donations, which is less money than the rest of us lucky few that get in to med school have to pay.
 

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lightnk102 said:
My freshman year roommate at Penn was a legacy. Her SAT scores were well-below the average for accepted students, and I don't think she would've gotten in without her daddy. Of course, I'm also biased since it came down a slap-fight between us about mid-year through. And yes, I pulled the legacy card out on her.

It's a sensitive topic for those lucky few who fall into the legacy category.
You may be biased now, but just keep in mind when you cut your alumni checks to Penn that someday one of your kids could be one of those lucky few.
 

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If there are two students of equal caliber that I am deciding between, I would take the legacy hands down. I think building a family commitment to any institution is important. Donations matter. Plus, I would think the legacy would be more likely to pick us over the average applicant If and when I ever have money, I will give it to my undergrad institution....and if it helps get my kids in one day, I'm all for it!
 

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Its not 40% of students are legacy students..

Its 40% of legacy students who apply are admitted.

And out of all the applications, probably like 8% (im pulling this out of my ass) are legacies.
 

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Ross434 said:
Its not 40% of students are legacy students..

Its 40% of legacy students who apply are admitted.

And out of all the applications, probably like 8% (im pulling this out of my ass) are legacies.
Sounds more likely -- I think your ass speaks the truth. :laugh:
 

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I think legacy acceptances vary from school to school. The state med school my dad went to hasn't even interviewed me because they take VERY few, if any, out of state students. I'm assuming this is more the case at Ivy programs or other private institutions.
 

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Ross434 said:
Its not 40% of students are legacy students..

Its 40% of legacy students who apply are admitted.

And out of all the applications, probably like 8% (im pulling this out of my ass) are legacies.
yeah that sounds more reasonable. the op was referring to a comment made by a current columbia student that was something like "i'd say at least 40% of the students in my class have an alumnia connection to some columbia school, medical and otherwise" i remember it because i thought it sounded a little ridiculous and wrong.
 

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CarleneM said:
i guess if i was a legacy, i'd take whatever help i could get and be thankful but it definitely is unfortunate for those of us who are not.
Keep the high high and the low low. I would hope that I don't have this opinion when my kids are applying to school. I would hope that I would want to advocate equality in admissions, whatever that may be. On the other side of the fence, I would hope that people with no legacy wouldn't be content being discriminated against (i.e. - such is life).
 

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You're right - this is America. Welcome to capitalism. If you don't like it, there is a little island about 70 miles south of Florida that you might want to visit.
Wow. Talk about your confused lines of argument.

How on earth do you start with the issue of legacies and jump directly to bashing communism?

Sure there is a possible link between giving boatloads of money to your alma mater and your kid getting a closer look than most, but that is pretty tenuous and most alums probably don't give enough cash to make it worthwhile for the school.

What about the genetic factor? If half of your DNA comes from a doctor who was good enough to train at school X, isn't it possible that you might be good enough to train there as well?

But hey, at least we have a president who stands for something, even if that something is constantly changing and usually ill-advised, right curt?
 

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patzan said:
Keep the high high and the low low. I would hope that I don't have this opinion when my kids are applying to school. I would hope that I would want to advocate equality in admissions, whatever that may be. On the other side of the fence, I would hope that people with no legacy wouldn't be content being discriminated against (i.e. - such is life).
we aren't going to get them to stop doing legacy admissions, especially, as others have noted, given the importance of alumnia donations in all our educations. don't make it seem like i am just content to "keep low" though: i went to harvard for undergrad and my parents had gone to state schools. when i have a kid, my child will now have a harvard legacy connection. :thumbup: such is life.
 

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CarleneM said:
we aren't going to get them to stop doing legacy admissions, especially, as others have noted, given the importance of alumnia donations in all our educations. don't make it seem like i am just content to "keep low" though: i went to harvard for undergrad and my parents had gone to state schools. when i have a kid, my child will now have a harvard legacy connection. :thumbup: such is life.

We arent going to get them to start accepting black students, especially, as others have noted, given the importance of donations from our friends at the local KKK and the white business fraternity. Don't make it seem like I am content to keep low though, luckily my kid is gonna be white and will be ok. Such is life.


Hmmm....such is life is gotta be one of the scariest phrases possible. Not that this issue is the same in terms of magnitude as racial discrimination, but at its fundament it is really a similar issue. People are gaining acceptance to med school based on who crapped them out, and not their own merits. If that is ok, then its ok to take blacks over whites, whites over blacks, or men over women. Hey, men make more on average than women right? So it sure dont pay to let all these chicks in, their contributions are gonna be lower. Screw it, only surgeons and derms allowed.
 

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CarleneM said:
we aren't going to get them to stop doing legacy admissions, especially, as others have noted, given the importance of alumnia donations in all our educations. don't make it seem like i am just content to "keep low" though: i went to harvard for undergrad and my parents had gone to state schools. when i have a kid, my child will now have a harvard legacy connection. :thumbup: such is life.
You also seem to be content with keeping the poor man down. I know that contributions are important and it's unlikely to change soon, but that doesn't make it right to let underqualified applicants in based on some criteria other than their own personal merit. Insert reference to MLK.
 

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vhawk01 said:
We arent going to get them to start accepting black students, especially, as others have noted, given the importance of donations from our friends at the local KKK and the white business fraternity. Don't make it seem like I am content to keep low though, luckily my kid is gonna be white and will be ok. Such is life.


Hmmm....such is life is gotta be one of the scariest phrases possible. Not that this issue is the same in terms of magnitude as racial discrimination, but at its fundament it is really a similar issue. People are gaining acceptance to med school based on who crapped them out, and not their own merits. If that is ok, then its ok to take blacks over whites, whites over blacks, or men over women. Hey, men make more on average than women right? So it sure dont pay to let all these chicks in, their contributions are gonna be lower. Screw it, only surgeons and derms allowed.
One of us should have waited one minute so as to not make the same argument over again. Well put...the heart of the issue is the same.
 
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dcham

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I realize that we live in the world of capitalism, so my point is not pragmatic but rather idealistic. Of course schools want donations from alumni but is it to much to ask that graduates donate money based on loyalty to the instution that gave them so much and not on the kick backs that they might give to their kids? Sure some people might want their kids to get a little extra help to get into a good school but I don't. I want them to get in based on merit and hard work, not because I know someone on Harvard's adcom. Coming from a lower middle class background myself, I believe that this whole med school process is significantly more difficult for those of us who aren't financially privaleged. It is hard to pay for all of the trips, tests, suits, and secondary fees. And on top of all of this when we somehow manage to take out a few extra loans just so we can afford all of this, we find out that we are at a disadvantage because we aren't the children of a well connected plutocrat. This is a bit of a slap in the face. If anything we should be given preferance or at least equal standing for all the hard work and sacrifices that we have had to put in. I'm not saying that the people who are accepted to ivy's aren't qualified, I'm saying that there is a bias that is significant on an individual applicant level.
 

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patzan said:
One of us should have waited one minute so as to not make the same argument over again. Well put...the heart of the issue is the same.
I think i beat you by about three seconds, but yeah, I read yers right after I posted and agreed. :thumbup: :D
 

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newhavenjake said:
Wow. Talk about your confused lines of argument.

How on earth do you start with the issue of legacies and jump directly to bashing communism?

Sure there is a possible link between giving boatloads of money to your alma mater and your kid getting a closer look than most, but that is pretty tenuous and most alums probably don't give enough cash to make it worthwhile for the school.

What about the genetic factor? If half of your DNA comes from a doctor who was good enough to train at school X, isn't it possible that you might be good enough to train there as well?

But hey, at least we have a president who stands for something, even if that something is constantly changing and usually ill-advised, right curt?
My point was that a successful parent should be able to pass that success on to his/her children. It is essentially a reversed form of affirmative action. I don't have legacy at any US medical school, but if I did, I would totally take advantage of it. I expect others to do the same and I don't blame them for it at all.
 

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patzan said:
I blame them.
While I agree that legacies maintain the status quo at the expense of the more deserving, and are thus not ideal in a country that is supposed to be the "land of opportunity", I suspect that legacies are here to stay. I mean we've even got a President who was a third generation Yale man with a daughter there now (even though W has indicated that he opposes legacies :rolleyes: ).
 

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patzan said:
You also seem to be content with keeping the poor man down. I know that contributions are important and it's unlikely to change soon, but that doesn't make it right to let underqualified applicants in based on some criteria other than their own personal merit. Insert reference to MLK.
that is absolutely not the case and i don't know how all of sudden there are assumptions from you and some other dude that I only want rich, white kids into med school. nothing could be further from the truth. i also don't think its right to let in underqualified applicants just because daddy wrote a big check. many legacy students also have the qualifications to back the applications up. i have known quite a few that did not have the qualifications and they did not get in. in fact, for undergrad i had a friend who had generations of harvard connections and they are super rich donors. the family owned a large health insurance company (that was also partly owned by harvard, i believe) but he did not get in to harvard because he wasn't stellar enough.
 

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Well I'm really not sure how I feel about the legacy issue. I do know that when my brother was applying to college he wanted to apply to Johns Hopkins, but he wanted to not mention his legacy status on his application. He was very idealistic. My parents were not so sure if that was a good idea, thinking we should use whatever we have to get in where we want to go. In the end they would have been okay with omitting it, though I'm actually not sure if he applied there or not.

It's hard to say what I would do in a similar situation. I admire my brother for being so idealistic and sticking to it, but personally, if I really wanted to get into a school, I think I'd probably use any legacy status to my benefit. Too bad it was my my uncle who went to Harvard med and not one of my parents :p
 

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CarleneM said:
that is absolutely not the case and i don't know how all of sudden there are assumptions from you and some other dude that I only want rich, white kids into med school. nothing could be further from the truth.
not what we are saying...
i also don't think its right to let in underqualified applicants just because daddy wrote a big check.
and we agree.
many legacy students also have the qualifications to back the applications up.
Then they didn't need to even ask, then, did they?
i have known quite a few that did not have the qualifications and they did not get in. in fact, for undergrad i had a friend who had generations of harvard connections and they are super rich donors. the family owned a large health insurance company (that was also partly owned by harvard, i believe) but he did not get in to harvard because he wasn't stellar enough.
good for Harvard, then.
 
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tigress said:
Well I'm really not sure how I feel about the legacy issue. I do know that when my brother was applying to college he wanted to apply to Johns Hopkins, but he wanted to not mention his legacy status on his application. He was very idealistic. My parents were not so sure if that was a good idea, thinking we should use whatever we have to get in where we want to go. In the end they would have been okay with omitting it, though I'm actually not sure if he applied there or not.

It's hard to say what I would do in a similar situation. I admire my brother for being so idealistic and sticking to it, but personally, if I really wanted to get into a school, I think I'd probably use any legacy status to my benefit. Too bad it was my my uncle who went to Harvard med and not one of my parents :p

I certainly don't blame students for taking the opportunities given to them, although I admire someone like your brother for turning them down and trying to make it on his own, rather I blame the institutions that allow this to happen.
 

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I want to reiterate my point. What bothers me is the mentality from both sides:

From the top: I am privileged, I want to keep it that way, I want my children to be privileged.

From the bottom: Such is life, there is nothing that can be done.
 
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patzan said:
I want to reiterate my point. What bothers me is the mentality from both sides:

From the top: I am privileged, I want to keep it that way, I want my children to be privileged.

From the bottom: Such is life, there is nothing that can be done.

There's always something that can be done. We're young, we're going to be influential. Why can't we use that influence to change things, or at least start the process of change.
 

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dcham said:
There's always something that can be done. We're young, we're going to be influential. Why can't we use that influence to change things, or at least start the process of change.
My point exactly.
 

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patzan said:
I want to reiterate my point. What bothers me is the mentality from both sides:

From the top: I am privileged, I want to keep it that way, I want my children to be privileged.

From the bottom: Such is life, there is nothing that can be done.
i think its unrealistic to think a parent isn't going to want to do whatever they can to give their children the best opportunities possible. many of us aren't born into privilege and have worked hard to get where we are. one of the benefits of all this hard work is allowing things to perhaps be a little easier for our children than it was for us.

regarding what i said about many successful legacy applicants having the qualifications to back their admission up- as we are well aware, having awesome qualifications does not make one a shoe in for anything. the legacy thing gives them an additional edge over other equally qualified folks.
 

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patzan said:
They're getting all of your money, do they need more?
They're hardly getting any money thanks to the stupid estate tax.
 

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dcham said:
I realize that we live in the world of capitalism, so my point is not pragmatic but rather idealistic. Of course schools want donations from alumni but is it to much to ask that graduates donate money based on loyalty to the instution that gave them so much and not on the kick backs that they might give to their kids? Sure some people might want their kids to get a little extra help to get into a good school but I don't. I want them to get in based on merit and hard work, not because I know someone on Harvard's adcom. Coming from a lower middle class background myself, I believe that this whole med school process is significantly more difficult for those of us who aren't financially privaleged. It is hard to pay for all of the trips, tests, suits, and secondary fees. And on top of all of this when we somehow manage to take out a few extra loans just so we can afford all of this, we find out that we are at a disadvantage because we aren't the children of a well connected plutocrat. This is a bit of a slap in the face. If anything we should be given preferance or at least equal standing for all the hard work and sacrifices that we have had to put in. I'm not saying that the people who are accepted to ivy's aren't qualified, I'm saying that there is a bias that is significant on an individual applicant level.

Most people would be sympathetic in this case, but I am not going to do that. You need to stop with your sob story. Of course it's easier for those that have money, but they may have been through various other hardships that you did not have to deal with during this process. Almost everyone has had significant troubles that may affect their application, but there is no reason to sit back and whine about it. I know I've been through things that most 24 yr olds haven't, but almost no one knows about them because I choose not to victimize myself and try to convince people that I deserve something "because of this and that." It's not worth your time and quite frankly, we shouldn't have to listen to it anymore.

PS - Don't reply with something like..."Then don't read this thread." That's not the point here.
 

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CarleneM said:
i think its unrealistic to think a parent isn't going to want to do whatever they can to give their children the best opportunities possible. many of us aren't born into privilege and have worked hard to get where we are. one of the benefits of all this hard work is allowing things to perhaps be a little easier for our children than it was for us.

regarding what i said about many successful legacy applicants having the qualifications to back their admission up- as we are well aware, having awesome qualifications does not make one a shoe in for anything. the legacy thing gives them an additional edge over other equally qualified folks.
Parents also need to be ethical and have concern for others as well. One of the benefits of being wealthy is the ability to give that to your kids - to get them the nice suit, less debt when the graduate, etc. etc. Those are privileges I am willing to accept. Unfair admissions privileges, I am not willing to accept. If my kid doesn't get in, it's his own fault and I'm not going to call the admissions office whining about it. I guess we see this differently.
 

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VPDcurt said:
They're hardly getting any money thanks to the stupid estate tax.
I wouldn't fret about that -- You can largely plan around that tax with use of recently increased tax credits, trusts, and life insurance. Yet another way to maintain the status quo. :rolleyes:
 

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patzan said:
Parents also need to be ethical and have concern for others as well. One of the benefits of being wealthy is the ability to give that to your kids - to get them the nice suit, less debt when the graduate, etc. etc. Those are privileges I am willing to accept. Unfair admissions privileges, I am not willing to accept. If my kid doesn't get in, it's his own fault and I'm not going to call the admissions office whining about it. I guess we see this differently.
i guess i see a difference in scale/ethics in checking a box saying your mom went to the school and in calling to beg and pull some strings. i am uncomfortable with that type of behavior now (my boss wanted to call hopkins since he is an alum and i didn't feel right about it so i said no) and would be uncomfortable with it with my own kids, i think. its more that if the school has a system in place to indicate that alumni thing, i am not going to tell my child not to check it. i don't think the system is so atrocious that it would warrant not using it.
 
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VPDcurt said:
Most people would be sympathetic in this case, but I am not going to do that. You need to stop with your sob story. Of course it's easier for those that have money, but they may have been through various other hardships that you did not have to deal with during this process. Almost everyone has had significant troubles that may affect their application, but there is no reason to sit back and whine about it. I know I've been through things that most 24 yr olds haven't, but almost no one knows about them because I choose not to victimize myself and try to convince people that I deserve something "because of this and that." It's not worth your time and quite frankly, we shouldn't have to listen to it anymore.

PS - Don't reply with something like..."Then don't read this thread." That's not the point here.

You attack is pretty personal but I will keep my response gentile. I do not deny that people go through various hardships particular to their situation, and I am not whining about my situation. I am quite pleased with where I have gotten in and where I am going, in fact I feel even better because I have done it on my own. What I am doing is pointing out that there is an undeniable inequality in the application process to med school. This inequality in the long run hurts individuals, the institutions that they apply to, and society as whole by allowing allowing, in some cases, less qualified applicants to take top positions at premier universities. As far as the money issue goes I think it would be very interesting to survey graduates from top universities to find out exactly how much money would be lost by doing away with legacy admissions and how much it would hurt the university. I bet it would be rather insignificant, especially if you take into account how loyal the hard working non legacy students would be after graduation.
 

VPDcurt

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dcham said:
What I am doing is pointing out that there is an undeniable inequality in the application process to med school.
It sounds cliche but life is not fair. Seriously. There really isn't anything about life or making something out of yourself that is totally fair. People gain ground one way or another, and within reason, this tends to be independent of one's qualifications on paper. Likewise, people with legacy usually gain admittance after they have shown that they are within a reasonable range with respect to grades/mcat/ECs. AA is the same way. It allows people to gain admission with lower scores simply by race...without even considering socioeconomic status. A level playing field is the ideal situation, but people who deem that a possibility are living in a dream world. For better or worse, almost everything in life is subjective.
 

VPDcurt

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dcham said:
You attack is pretty personal but I will keep my response gentile.
I'm sorry if it seemed to personal - that was not my intention. I was just using what you had said regarding your status because others hadn't done so.
 

tacrum43

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VPDcurt said:
You're right - this is America. Welcome to capitalism. If you don't like it, there is a little island about 70 miles south of Florida that you might want to visit.
What you're thinking of isn't capitalism, it's a monarchy.
 

Sparky Man

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I was surprised that Yale has just 2 sudents who are children from Yale medical school alumni in their first year class. There were 7 from "other" Yale schools.
 

tacrum43

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VPDcurt said:
Legacy isn't associated with capitalism. In fact, a free market cares about as much about legacy as a state school.
 

SocialistMD

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VPDcurt said:
...people with legacy usually gain admittance after they have shown that they are within a reasonable range with respect to grades/mcat/ECs. AA is the same way. It allows people to gain admission with lower scores simply by race...without even considering socioeconomic status.
What about the middle class?!? ;)
 

VPDcurt

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tacrum43 said:
Legacy isn't associated with capitalism. In fact, a free market cares about as much about legacy as a state school.
Haha - So that makes it a monarchy?