Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

If the Limos Were for High Scores (SAT Not Football)

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

If the Limos Were for High Scores (SAT Not Football)

Article excerpt

On the TV news, young men in coats and ties solemnly proclaim where they've decided to play football and, incidentally, attend college. On the front page of the newspaper, there they are again, standing with their parents and coaches. Inside the newspaper, there are less prominent stories about the growing trade deficit, failing schools, and how poor knowledge of international issues hurts the US diplomatically and militarily.

I start daydreaming about a time in the future when national recruiting day will go something like this:

Across the country, there's excitement, anticipation, and speculation. It's national signing day - when the most sought-after high school stars announce which colleges are worthy of their presence.

TV news crews pour into high schools, jostling for the best camera angle. Faculty, parents, and students are besieged with questions from the media. The students dress for the occasion, knowing they might well be on tomorrow's front page, or tonight's evening news. Reporters come armed with statistics on each youngster and notes on how each high-profile student could boost a college's prestige ranking. Websites list the prized students and their accomplishments.

At the universities, school officials and students wait nervously for the outcome. "Will we be fortunate enough to have them choose us?" they wonder as they wait for fax machines to churn out letters of intent.

Finally, the process begins. The first student chooses State University. Immediately, word spreads across campus, and high-fives are exchanged all around. "She's a fine young woman," exclaims a top university official. "And what stats! A 1520 on the SAT. A 4.0 GPA, including several advanced placement courses. She will boost the status of our chemistry department in a way that no one has for years!"

At the crosstown rival, they're stunned. "We did all we could to recruit her," says a professor, who asks not to be identified. "We flew her in on a private jet. …

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