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April 01, 2011 10:00 AM Harvard Admissions Now Completely Arbitrary

By Daniel Luzer

ObstacleCourse.jpg

In light of another successful year in college admissions Harvard College, which this spring admitted 4 percent of all applicants, announced that for the next admission season it will require potential students to successfully navigate a defined obstacle course in less than four minutes.

“Eh, we just figured why not,” said admissions dean Jamie Crowley. “We got 40,000 applications this year. Like 60 percent of them had perfect SATs. At that point it becomes entirely arbitrary.”

Crowley said that he came up with the idea one afternoon while walking back to his office from lunch. “Too many fatties,” he explained. “In the future we must keep them out.”

The college will set up six identical obstacle courses throughout the United States. High school students will run through the courses at specified dates and times throughout the year.

Some students, particularly those from outside of the Northeast, protested that they would have to travel really far to complete these physical challenges.

According to Enid Reis, an all-state basketball player from Anchorage, Alaska, the nearest Harvard-approved obstacle course will be in Seattle, Washington. Reis, who also serves as captain of her high school swimming team, has a 4.5 GPA, and earned a perfect 2400 on the SAT, pointed out that she would have to spend about $500 to fly to Seattle to complete the course. “That’s kind of unfair; kids from New York can get to their exams on the subway,” she said.

“Yea, but I bet she’ll still do it, right,” said Crowley.

Crowley admitted that in fact virtually all applicants were probably more or less able to succeed in Harvard courses. “So we figured why not at least ensure that they’re good looking, too?”

“So all the applicants are smart enough for Harvard?”

“Please, they’re high school students,” Crowley said. “Most of them get excited when they can get a six pack of beer. We ain’t talking about Nobel Prizes here.” [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

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