Some of the most selective colleges have become somewhat less selective this year in the percentage of those who were admitted (“Acceptance Rates at Harvard, Other Ivy League Schools Edge Up,” The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 28). The change will no doubt be applauded by reformers who want to diversify the student bodies at these schools.
But rather than agonizing over whose credentials are more impressive and therefore deserve admission, I propose that the fairest solution is application of the principle of the flat maximum. It holds that the qualifications of people bunched at the very top of the curve are all good enough to succeed at elite schools. Hair splitting is a fool’s errand.
If adopted, a lottery would be used to determine those among this elite group who are admitted. That would eliminate countless hours of trying to distinguish among applicants. I submit that such a policy would also result in virtually no lawsuits because a lottery plays no favorites.
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