The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Onion Punch

Colleges raise bar, students struggle to hang on

Six of the nation’s top universities published a new set of undergraduate admissions requirements last week in light of the unprecedented tidal wave of applicants this year.

“To be considered for admission, all applicants must have been enrolled in a minimum of 5 AP classes per year since 7th grade, maintained a 5.4 GPA and scored no lower than 2410 on the SAT,” a press release issued by Harvard University said. “Applicants should be authors of at least two books on the New York Times Best Sellers list, Olympic medalists in one or more of the specified sports and recipients of at least one Nobel Prize.”

A community service requirement asks that freshman applicants coach an underprivileged children’s sports team to national championships or beyond, as well as take a lifelong vow of celibacy and serve Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity in a developing country.

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With the baby boomlet dragging the average Ivy League admission rate down to about 3 in every thousand, these schools are now turning away approximately 99 percent of students who meet these minimum criteria.

“It is pretty stressful,” senior Laura Cruz said. “I nearly got a B+ in AP Biophysics Honors last year, which would have disqualified me. My parents could barely afford lawyers to sue the school on top of the 10,000 copies of my book they had to buy!”

This year’s historical peak in the number of students applying to college is putting the pressure on lower-achieving students as well. One such mediocre student is senior A.J. Stewart, who has a GPA of only 4.1 and scored a mere 2300 points on the SAT.

“My parents got me a college admissions consultant for my 11th birthday,” A.J. said. “It’s only been $15,000 a year, so I think it’s worth it. She’s having me apply early decision to all the colleges in the U.S. as well as a few in Canada. I know that’s illegal, but this way we’re hoping I’ll get in somewhere.”

Some students have chosen to forgo college until a less competitive time, opting instead for alternatives like prostitution or begging.

“My decision to skip college came when my revolutionary work in economic theory failed to win even a Qantas Award, let alone a Nobel Prize,” senior Hillary Cardwell said. “With so little going for me, I think my best option at this point is just to take to the streets.”

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