Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions
Date and Time:
Dec 9 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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


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Jeff Selingo

Journalist and author

Melissa Korn

Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions

Adolescence | Advice | College | Education | Parenting

Award-winning journalist Jeffrey 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 new best-selling book Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions, Mr. 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 Mr. 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.

Written with great empathy for those about to embark on this process, and those in the middle of it, Who Gets In and Why takes a look at our current winner-take-all culture of success that has parents doing anything to win acceptance. One reason this is so fraught for parents is that they don’t want to take the chance that their children will end up on the wrong side of the economic divide, but Mr. Selingo reminds parents that in fact plenty of good schools offer a top-notch education and have high acceptance rates.

Mr. 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 to the president of Arizona State University and has also served as visiting scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the bestselling author of There Is Life After College and College (Un)Bound.

Mr. Selingo will be interviewed by Melissa Korn, a higher education reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where she writes about college admissions, university finances and, recently, schools’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic. She is co-author (with WSJ colleague Jennifer Levitz) of the recently released book Unacceptable: Privilege, Deceit, and the Making of the College Admissions Scandal.

This event suitable for youth 12+

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 Mr. Selingo and Ms. Korn that will start immediately after the webinar.

NOTE: The link to register for the AFTER-HOURS will appear in red font at the top of your email receipt from The Book Stall.  Please look for it!

REGISTRATION REQUIRED for all FAN events. This event will be recorded and available later on our website and YouTube channel.