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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  May 9, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT

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uni-1st. -- june 1st. mohammed fahmy and mohammed badr were accused of helping muslim brotherhood, charges they delay. they spend 400 days in prison. charges from dismissed, but ordered them to stand trial again. if you want to keep up to date on all the stories... wishes known and thousands of high school seniors have had to cope with what they might see as college failure before they take a single class. they will be in school in fall just not their dream school. have we created crazy unworkable expectations at toop schools? does it matter that you go to
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college and less where you go? the deposits for the fall are in the mail. the sticker's already going on the rear window of the family car. rethinking the rat race for the freshman class is the "inside story" and it starts now. welcome to "inside story", i'm ray suarez. ask a ced preparing to graduate high school this spring how many colleges they've sent applications. middle of the deck students and high flyers alike you will here what once would have sounded like crazy numbers eight 1220 12, 20 colleges. worked hard to shape themselves into a product a marquee school would want to buy and after that thousands have simply been told
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no, we don't want you. good luck wherever you end up. we'll begin this look at the modern obstacle course of college admission he with one family's decision. like millions of high school seniors nationwide anisse mc mccrossky neff has been studying hard. >> it will give me a sense of independence and trying to do things on my own now. >> but even college is months away she's not sure where she'll be going this fall. >> tearing me apart. >> this is the big decision that's supposed to set up the rest of your life. looked at as all important where are you going to go, where is it going to be for your future and your family's future. >> diane, charter public school in boston. she fears students like anice to
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schools where they can be successful. >> but each student should go to the most selective place they got into that they can afford. >> some students don't get accepted into their dream schools or can't go because of financial reasons. >> i saw that said congratulations. >> the 18-year-old was thrilled when she read her acceptance letter. >> i ran down the stairs to my mom and she knew that clark was one of my number ones. we were happy it was really exciting. >> but her excitement turned to disappointment when she found out she didn't get enough financial aid. >> it's kind of like sad you get into one of your top schools and then can't go because you know you just can't afford it. >> it's nerve wracking. >> magdaline neff is a single woman with children. >> i feel imli. >> both parents and students are feeling the stress.
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>> huge pressure with everybody. all eyes are on a 17-year-old, how many 17-year-olds know what they want to do with the rest of their lives. >> focusing in on certain schools. >> in princeton or a school they've heard of. >> she tries to convince college bound students it's all about the best 70th. >> where that student will shine and be pushed but not too much. >> but anice's mother still worries about where she will end up this summer. >> it's snobbish of me. >> anice was accepted, she's anxiously waiting to hear if she gets a scholarship. >> if i get a scholarship i'll
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have enough money to go to ithaca. if i don't, i'll go to framingham. i don't mind. >> school creating a scramble for a relatively tiny number of places in the freshman class, hopes created and dreams dashed. in his new book where you go is not who you'll be he offers an antedote. fred welcome to "inside story" i. >> thanks to having me. >> if you didn't get the fat envelope for the class of 2019 that starts in september you probably still a little sore. >> oh you're sore of course but the thing is your life isn't over. you know? i mean this is such a small moment in life and what we've done in this country over the last couple of decades is blow it into the largest most action life. i don't know why we've done it. people with successful careers
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you see they've traveled all sorts of paths to that career. >> the post recession world where it's not that clear that you're going to make it just if you go to college and do well. >> it is status anxiety, it's very relevant when you say postrecession world. all americans not as confident as the future as they used to be. for more than ten years now if you've asked the americans is the country on the right track or wrong track, many have said the wrong track. i think think what you're seeing on the college admissions mania, i have to give my kid a leg up. the elite school pay be the leg up. no money is too lavish for getting into one of these places. >> don't we want
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strivers achievers? >> sure we do. >> some of the things you need to do to get into the elite school is something we want to tell our children to achieve. >> stanford university only takes 5% of its applicants for the last two years. making whether they get to excellent contingent, whether a school takes them in. and another problem is when you are gearing a kid to one of those schools you're following a very particular script that amounts to a kind of gamesmanship. you are not necessarily letting them connect to their real passion. you're not necessarily emphasizing the substance of the achievement as much as the optic of it, it's not good to get them into the most competitive school possible. >> it sounds like part of the problem then is that we are
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parties to creating unreasonable expectations. once schools are in that five, six, 7% acceptance rate, most kids by definition simply don't have a shot. >> no, and -- >> so would we be helping them instead to have a more rightly understood sense of their own place in the academic universe? >> yes, and that's exactly one of the things i'm trying to do with the book. it's even worse we say five six, 7%, that's daunting enough. those schools with five, six or 7%, star athletes benefit from the most aggressive affirmative action, not a lot are competing for the very few slots at stanford or yale or harvard or mit. >> how do we unde due this? we've talked a little bit about allow we got here. how do we unget here?
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>> we start telling the truth. let me give you an example. we're ramping up to the presidential campaign right? we edit reality in a very selective way that gives kids a flawed message of the path to success. you read about ted cruz you read constantly that he went to princeton and hferred medical har harvard medical school. you see one educational pedigree as an explanation of success and we see the other one as almost incidental or contradiction. that's not true. in all of those cases that educational experience wherever it was forged the person who is now standing near the top of the mountain. >> so if it's not mentioned in an article does that mean almost by definition that that person went to run of the mill u? >> that's the message. i'm using the media as a result
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of what we all talk. they think of what you hear in your own life, the next door neighbor's kid got into brown, not the next door neighbor's kid goes to university of vermont. if you look at fortune 500 executives, senators, governors, you see more people who have gone to state universities or schools you never heard of than only the ivy league, only a few can be educated. >> i told my son, who is a very smart boy, instead of being the mart smartest kid in his class in one way or another, he is now going to a school where everyone was number one in the class. let's not throw baby out with the bath water. >> for some kids it will be, but for others it won't be. never lose sight of the fact that applying to college is not
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just about what is the most exclusive realm that will take me, not will i flourish, a parent or kid him or herself knows about a kid's personality and where they are likely to succeed or not. >> could guidance counselors play an important role in building down this arms race? >> they could but parents and school administrators need to let them. almost every school guidance counselor would like to tell you, three have got a school administration that's being asked by all the parents in the community how many kids do we get into harvard this year, how many kids do we get into yale? it's got to be parents reassessing how much energy they pour into it. >> because if we get the energy into the fit end, we might have higher college graduates.
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>> more likely to graduate college from a family that was not particularly affluent. we would have people better suited for the careers that they are going into because they have had the breathing room and the time and they've been encouraged to have a set of values that allow them to really think about what they want to do with their lives. one of the people i interviewed in the book was condoleezza rice and she said something smart. it takes you a while to find your passion. it takes you a while to find that combination of what means something to you and what you're good at. and she was saying it in the context she was sure she was going to be a professional pianist. she went to the university of virginia, it had a good conservatory, a good music school. she ended up finding out i'm not as good at music as i thought i was, and she ended up being in a much different profession.
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>> and ended up help running stanford. which is one of the great offenders. >> you're right. >> where you go is not who you'll be is the book. what do colleges think about the scramble for seats in the fall? do they agree, admission mania has gone too far? one of the admissions executives, you'll be surprised what he has to say, it's the "inside story". >> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on not just in this country but around the world. >> if there were no cameras here, would be the best solution. >> this goes to the heart of the argument >> to tell you the stories that others won't cover. how big do you see this getting? getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> we're here to provide the analysis... the context... and the reporting that allows you to make sense of your world. >> ali velshi on target only on al jazeera america
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>> the new al jazeera america primetime. get the real news you've been looking for. at 7:00, a thorough wrap-up of the day's events. then at 8:00, john seigenthaler digs deeper into the stories of the day. and at 9:00, get a global perspective on the news. weeknights on al jazeera america. >> sunday on "hard earned". losing control. >> 50 and broke. i live with the consequences every day. >> harsh realities. >> i did two tours in iraq, when i came back i couldn't find a job. >> fighting to survive. >> bein' a man and can't put my
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family in a home that they deserve... that's a problem for me. >> hard earned pride. hard earned respect. hard earned future. a real look at the american dream. "hard earned". sunday, 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america. >> part of our month long look at working in america. "hard earned". >> welcome back to "inside story". college admission he mania this time on the program. you heard frank bruni talk about the terrible disappointment of high schoolers who didn't get accepted to their dream schools and in their zeal, bruni comes close to saying it doesn't matter or it doesn't matter as much as you think it does, where you go to college. academic prominence new york university centered on new
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york's greenwich village, and its footprint has extended around the world. welcome to "inside story", mr. president. >> wonderful to be with you ray. >> now, is that a good message for high schoolers across the country, don't worry quite so much, where you go is not who you'll be? >> i think as you stated in those words and i think as frank put puts it in his writings, it's a good message, it's important. 100,000 people a year come on admission tours, actually come to nyu for admissions tours. over 60,000 apply. probably 50,000 of them could do well, we have space for only 5,000. when i speak to the parents, sometimes when i'm passing one of the tours, i tell them, please guarantee your children you're going to love them no matter where they get in and protect them from the tragedy of
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thinking that their life depends on getting into one particular school. there's too much mania in the process. i agree with that completely. >> is there some magic match between a kid and a school that ideally we would want for every kid who wants to go? >> well, the first and most important thing is that there is no magic list of schools. there is no best cool in the world for everyone -- school in the world for everyone . each child t is different and when i council counsel the friends of my children or the children of my friends, the first thing i want to do is spend an hour or two with the prospective applicant to find out what he or she is wants. wung thing my wife said, about our two children, honey, a lot
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of colleges and universities this is not the time for you to talk. but when we came off of swathmore campus, she said dad i can hear you talking. this is the perfect place for you. but for me it's the wrong place. she was right, i was fantasizing as an academic about being in the hills of pennsylvania with brilliant people talk about nothing but ideas and reading. swath moormore mord was more was a perfect school, an a plus school, a very different person would be right for nyu and vice versa. >> haven't you in the last 15 years helped make nyu one of these places that drives this mania, drives a lot of money
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made the place more desirable widely touted dream school isn't nyu part of what is making kids nuts? >> a higher education is a symphony orchestra of variations, american higher education in particular. and a violinist whrongs in belongs in the violin section and brass player belongs in the brass section and so on. we at flvmentyu have tried to be a -- we at nyu have tried to be a particular thing and that's a metaphor, a complex education in handling complexity and cacophony. swathmore like i mentiona while ago, gives a different kind of dissonance to their students. what we've tried to do in the last decades, we try to be the
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best version of what we bring to the orchestra. we are very proud of the fact that we've succeeded at that and therefore we've become more attractive to the students that are right for us and we tell the students on the tour that we're probably not right for most of them. we're right for those that want to get the great disciplinary education but also want to learn how to pild a community of communities amidst complexity. >> so how do we rebuild a situation that for so many has frankly gotten out of hand? how do we get to a place where a reached school is a reach school right reply understood, the best place for you that makes you test yourself, push yourself a little harder rather than make you feel that you're already a failure at 18 if you don't get in? >> the first thing i would say is this, ray, and it's an undernoticed problem even in frank's writings. there's a huge problem this this
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country of certain segments of the population being involved in the mania that we're talking about, typically the high income segments and others not knowing that any of this makes a difference. not knowing that even going to college makes a difference. something in which frank and i agree on absolutely, for example. thinking that the only thing that matters is the cost of the education, usually cost indicates a variation in quality, we've got huge segments of our population that we're going to leave behind if we don't get information out to them that the right match makes a difference. once you get those people into the process then i think apropos your question, we have got to get information into the process, not just numerical information but qualitative information, real qualitative information.
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>> john sexton,ing president of new york university. thank you for joining us. >> getting in where you want to still does matter, a boost they couldn't get from any postsecondary degree. stay with us. it's the "inside story".
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>> earlier in the program you heard frank bruni talk about the disorks of process of securing a place in american higher education.
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bruni suggests that a lot more goes into where you go to college. i am joined here, that the casual dismissal of an i'vey league education is misguided. welcome to the program. does it matter where you go to school? >> hi ray, glad to be here. absolutely, for a large cross section of the society especially women especially minorities, where you go to school makes a huge difference. at least to give you the first leg up in life. absolutely, what you end up doing, your final successes depends on your tenacity . id certainly depends on luck and determination as well, but where you go to school is very important to that first step towards success. >> yet you agree don't you the kind of arms race it has had on
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high school juniors and seniors that there are too much anxiety around the process ? >> i think there's definitely anxiety around the process, but i think telling vulnerable high schoolers that it doesn't matter which college you go into, you can be successful month no no matter what is being misleading, that's being in a world that we don't currently live in. it's very inspiring but i don't think at this moment we're there yet. >> does it matter who we're talking about gender, heritage so on? >> absolutely. you know, i mentor a lot of young just precollege age girls especially girls of color. and it makes a huge difference especially for children of immigrants, especially children who might be the first of their families to graduate high
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school. people with unusual names. i mean if we look at the way that the career process, the way people hire in today's world, a lot of the best opportunities still go to white men, and the opportunity to have an elite institution on your resume definitely makes a difference. >> well, you went to two pretty well-known brand name schools. columbia university and the london school of economics. had you gone to a good program at one of the better considered state schools, or taken a stateside business degree, instead of heading off overseas, how would you be different? and how would the resume that you presented to your early employers be different? >> i would think it would be very different. with a name like ruchika, i have heard hiring managers once i've made the cut, oh, that's an unusual name. and i think when i haven't read
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frank answer book i'll be honest here, but i have read his op ed, the examples he sites are wealthier white kids who did not end up going to very recognized colleges and still had a degree of success in light life. and i don't think, certainly i have the tenacity and i have the determination so i would like to believe i'd be able to make it this far, regardless. but i would be lying if i said that those credentials or my resume did not get me as far as i've come to date. >> quickly before i say good-bye, did it force you to work harder and by forcing you to work harder, pull some things out of you or develop some things you didn't already have? >> absolutely. going to places like columbia showed me the new way that -- where journalism is going. i was able to speak to some amazing people in the field. and i really believe a lot of
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the opportunities be it the internships i had after that or the people i managed to interview, secure interviews with, the brand names i got on my resume after i would not have been able to do that without columbia and lsc on my resume. >> writes for, she joins us from seattle, washington, good to have you with us. >> thank you. >> did you get a rejection letter from your dream school only to find joy and challenge at another college? are you watching another student today go through their dream, share your story, follow me and get in touch @raysuareznews. thanks for joining "inside story", thanks for watching, i'm ray suarez.
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