Award-winning journalist Jeff Selingo spent parts of 2018 and 2019 embedded at three different universities to get an inside look at the admissions process: University of Washington, Davidson College, and Emory University. He was trying to answer the central question millions of college-bound kids and their parents ask themselves every year: who gets in, and why? The answer, it turns out, is surprising, and has a lot more to do with the college or university’s needs than with what’s best for students.
In his 2020 best-selling book Who Gets In and Why, named among the 100 Notable Books of the year by The New York Times, Selingo shares what he learned from months inside the college admission process. Most of us probably believe that this process is about merit, grades, and SAT scores, rewarding the best students, but Selingo presents a more complicated truth, showing that who gets in is more frequently about the college’s agenda than about the applicant. In a world where thousands of equally qualified students vie for a fixed number of spots at elite institutions, admissions officers often make split-second decisions based on a variety of factors—including whether a student will enroll if accepted.
Selingo will be in conversation with Adam Harris, a staff writer at The Atlantic where he has covered education and national politics since 2018. He is the author of the 2021 book The State Must Provide: Why America’s Colleges Have Always Been Unequal – And How to Set Them Right.
AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Who Gets In and Why from FAN's partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Selingo and Harris that will start immediately after the webinar. Copy and paste this link to purchase the book: https://www.thebookstall.com/event/who-gets-and-why-year-inside-college-admissions-fan-program
NOTE: FAN collects registration data to inform event planning.