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The Gatekeepers - Book Report/Review Example

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In his book The Gatekeepers, Steinberg covers a diverse group of students competing for places in the nation’s top colleges. Steinberg recommended his book…
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The Gatekeepers Introduction Jacques Steinberg got the opportunity to study the admission process in one of the most prestigious Wesleyan University. In his book The Gatekeepers, Steinberg covers a diverse group of students competing for places in the nation’s top colleges. Steinberg recommended his book to the parents of high school children and to every student with the quest of joining or applying for college. Despite his recommendation, not everyone received the Gatekeepers well, the book received several negative and positive reviews.
The admission decisions made by colleges are usually under a cordon of security. The kind of decisions made by the colleges determined those whose applications got accepted and those whose applications got rejected (Steinberg 5). A group of people present in the room determines the fate of one’s application at the time of selection. The decision normally bases on the test scores, race, social class, family connections and the ability to do well in some co-curriculum activities (Steinberg 7). Steinberg observed Wesleyan University rejected and disappointed many applicants. The university admission committee reduced the number of applicants to the lowest value possible using questionable criteria. Steinberg observed the same problem in other great universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford and other elite colleges in the country.
The admission to colleges and high school in America is to some extent based on the family relations with the admission officers. The statement is evident in the Gatekeepers book as Steinberg tells us his story when he wanted to join college. The relationship between his mother and one of the admission officers made the college have an interest in him. Various people get their applications accepted after engaging the admission committees in some private and behind the door talks. Steinberg affirms the above statement when questions the essence of the tests administered for admission. Today most colleges do not consider how much someone has qualified in terms of academic scores and the junior of primary school attended. The Gatekeepers’ author tells the story of his friend who missed a chance to acquire admitted to Dartmouth College despite having qualified more than he had. That same year I got accepted at Dartmouth, a friend from my hometown had his application rejected (Steinberg 15).
Most colleges and high schools in the nation base their admission process on different, unexpected factors. The factors admission committees consider to accept an application include, primary school attended, the family relations, and other factors not related to educational qualification. Steinberg argues this point by highlighting that elite colleges usually reserve admissions slots for the fortunate and rich applicants. (Steinberg 186). Today, most of the American top colleges have set aside slots for students from particular high schools where they take most of their freshmen. For instance, Harvard draws heavily from those graduating from Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire
In conclusion, the admission process in most of the high schools and colleges faces many issues. The issues range from corruption, racism, family relations and favoritism. It depends on whom you know on the admissions committee and what you can offer to them. I agree to some extent with Steinberg’s writing about the admission process in colleges and high schools to some extent. However, I disagree with him when he asserts the academic scores counts little in the admission process since most colleges in the nation considers that first. The admission process should be fair and just to encourage hard work at various levels of learning.
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Steinberg, Jacques. The Gatekeepers. Riverdale, NY: Paw Prints, 2008. Read More
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