Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions
Date and Time:
Oct 26 2021 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).


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Jeff Selingo

Journalist and author

Adam Harris

Staff writer for The Atlantic and author, The State Must Provide

Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions

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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: A Year Inside College Admissions, 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 has reported on higher education for more than two decades. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Wall Street Journal. He’s a special advisor for innovation and professor of practice at Arizona State University and has also served as visiting scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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, a narrative history of racial inequality in higher education.

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on our website and YouTube channel.

BONUS 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. Details on the webinar registration page.