NPR–The "Crazy" World of College Admissions

March 9, 2011– Guest host Lynn Neary talks to Andrew Ferguson, a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, about his new book, Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College. Ferguson details his sometimes comical efforts at helping his son with college applications and the confusing, and often infuriating, admissions process.

Listen or read the transcript.  Here’s a quote:

Mr. FERGUSON: Yeah. It’s awful. When you start to fill out an application, a college application, which is really just a questionnaire, which is very simple to fill out, but the hard part is the college essay. The college essays are generally questions that call upon emotions that don’t necessarily come easily to a kid like mine.

I was talking to one of the college counselor once and we were having a terrible time writing these essays, ’cause they were questions like, you know, tell us your most embarrassing moment or, you know, if you could be a puppy what kind of puppy would you be and stuff like that. And my son’s just pulling his hair out. And I said I don’t know how to help him.

And she said, well, just tell him that he has to dig down deep and, you know, tell us his innermost thoughts. And I said, lady, he’s a 17-year-old boy; he doesn’t have innermost thoughts, and if he did you wouldn’t want to know what they were and neither would I. But this is the kind of bind that you get yourself into.

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