Harvard not worried about accepting a student who scored 1270 on the SAT

Harvard starts the fall semester today.

From “Racist Comments Cost Conservative Parkland Student a Place at Harvard” (NYT, back in June):

Two other prominent Parkland student activists, Jaclyn Corin and David Hogg, both of them vocal proponents of tighter gun restrictions, are headed to Harvard this fall. Mr. Hogg, who is completing a gap year, garnered attention when he announced his acceptance last year after being rejected from other schools, including from California State University at Long Beach. On Monday, Mr. Kashuv’s defenders noted that Mr. Hogg had a 4.2 grade point average and scored 1270 on the SAT test, while Mr. Kashuv said in the interview that he had a 5.4 G.P.A., and a 1550 SAT score.

Leaving aside the rest of the story, it is interesting that Harvard isn’t concerned that someone with a mediocre SAT score of 1270 will have trouble with the academics.

[Separately, I wonder if the NYT can legitimately say that this teenager’s hyperbolic throwing around of some words for shock value is “racist”. It is the NYT itself that is constantly running stories on academic underachievement by Americans of one particular race.]


  • my review of Academically Adrift: colleges are, for the most part, indifferent to whether or not professors are effective teachers. To the extent that colleges work teaching quality into decisions about promotion and pay they do so by considering student evaluations. Which professors do students evaluate highest? Those who assign the least reading and give the highest grades (researched by Valen Johnson is cited). So every professor has a big incentive to make his or her class easy and to give every student an A.
  • my review of Higher Education?: Harvard undergrads give their professors C- on “classroom performance” and D on “outside-of-class availability”. Upset by the evidence that it was delivering a poor quality product, Harvard appointed a committee: “All but one of its members held endowed chairs … No junior faculty, no teaching assistants, and notably no students were invited to serve.”

20 thoughts on “Harvard not worried about accepting a student who scored 1270 on the SAT

  1. Separately, I wonder if the NYT can legitimately say that this teenager’s hyperbolic throwing around of some words for shock value is “racist”.

    There’s a mention of the use of a racial slur word when referring to other kids in his school. It’s perfectly reasonable to call such remarks racist. Don’t overthink it.

    • It may be perfectly reasonable to call such remarks racist, Vince, but they didn’t even give the guy a chance to matriculate and talk about his views. That’s remarkable for Harvard. What will they do now with all the people associated with the Harvard Lampoon?


      “On September 27, 2011, the Lampoon stole the Harvard Crimson President’s Chair, and had it used as a prop on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[13] On June 2, 2015, the Lampoon again stole the Harvard Crimson President’s Chair, this time, pretending that it was the Harvard Crimson’s editorial staff, they took the chair to Trump Tower to endorse now-President Donald Trump.[14].” – THIEVES!

      Look at the list! How many of them could have possibly survived today’s asphyxiation?

  2. Harvard made a mistake and I think they wasted a great opportunity, because it would have been much more beneficial to have him and David Hogg on the same campus, talking it through in front of academics and the public.

  3. I mean, c’mon. Let’s put aside for just an instant that adolescents say stupid things, because increasingly, educated academics also say (and do) stupid things. Harvard should be smarter than this.

    I note this with irony, and I’ll guarantee JV didn’t score 1550 on his SATs. Maybe that’s why!


  4. By the way the New Stalinists have also tried to have Camille Paglia fired! The walls are closing in on anything not deemed politically acceptable, and Harvard has already shown that it has lost any credibility.

    Philip, I’m counting down the months for your blog. There is no politically-incorrect speech any longer. There are no mistakes that can’t be turned into an indictment. There is no humor, and there is no tolerance for anything that steps outside, in even the most marginal ways, from political orthodoxy. Even at the University of the Arts the students have demanded censorship and removal of anyone who doesn’t believe in their orthodoxy.


    • There are indeed fascinating parallels between the Stalin era and today’s suppression of dissent (though I think the underlying causes are different). Universities are the now in the role of the church in the western world’s prevailing quasi-religious belief system, so the phenomenon is particularly apparent in higher education.

      ‘In the twenties, young people of education willingly gathered information for the authorities and the secret police, and thought they were doing so for “the good of the Revolution,” for the sake of the mysterious majority which was supposedly interested in the defense and the consolidation of the regime. From the thirties, and right up to Stalin’s death, they continued to do the same, except that their motivation had changed – they now acted to benefit themselves, in the hope of reward or out of fear.’

      – from Hope Against Hope by Nadezhda Mandelstam.

    • “There is no politically-incorrect speech any longer.” what an absurd viewpoint – go check out 8chan sometime. Or you know, basically anywhere else on the internet.

    • @10-15: I’ll let the FBI handle 8chan for the time being and as for the rest of the internet, the quality of the speech is pretty poor, and there’s a lot more noise than signal. People like Philip who put their names on things and do the work of documenting the arguments they make are rare. That’s why you read his blog, no?

    • Alex, no I read this site because I used to respect Phil as a writer, developer and his online communities. Now mostly to get a glimpse of a dirty and repugnant side of the internet and what happens when someone believes their own nonsense.

    • @10-15: Well, at least you’re civil about it when you express your disgust, and for that I congratulate you. It does raise the question, though: if you profess to no longer respect him and instead read his blog to “mostly get a glimpse of the dirty and repugnant side of the internet” then doesn’t that make you a kind of sleazy voyeur? Why spend your time looking at the gore and roadkill here when you can hop on over to almost anywhere else and get the same or better?

      If you were a moderator of this site, what would you change?

    • @10-15

      I’m getting the vibe that you’re not much of a “The real treasure was the friends we made along the way” kind of guy?

    • The dirty and repugnant side of the internet is really the nasty and hateful aspects of human society. People are anonymous and feel free to express any absurd or malicious ideas that they wouldn’t express in the real offline world. So a lot can be learned about the state of humanity by reading such websites that isn’t easily available elsewhere.

  5. Totally off-topic:

    Eyes Wide Shut was the best movie Stanley Kubrick ever made. If you really want to talk about disturbing themes, I think it was the best movie he ever made. I was actually terrified to see it, knowing that he died before it was finished, but he at least screened the final cut of that movie prior to his demise. That movie is what our society IS.

  6. > will have trouble with the academics

    Lol, what academics? He’s studying political “science”.

  7. ^^ This. What a bunch of jokers. They’ve lost all credibility, but they’re politically connected.

  8. [Separately, I wonder if the NYT can legitimately say that this teenager’s hyperbolic throwing around of some words for shock value is “racist”. It is the NYT itself that is constantly running stories on academic underachievement by Americans of one particular race.]

    They can, when they decide what’s ‘racist’ and what’s a teenager and what’s everything else.

  9. Phil,

    I was reading the article by you on Universities that Alex references above.
    In it you say:

    “A modern dorm room has a television, Internet, youtube, instant messaging, email, phone, and video games. The students who get the most out of their four years in college are not those who are most able, but rather those with the best study habits. No company would rely on this system for getting work done, despite the potential savings in having each employee work from home. Companies spend a fortune in commercial office space rent to create an environment with limited distractions and keep workers there for most of each day.”

    But surely, this spending of a “fortune” on commercial space by companies is also highly inefficient. Why can’t companies simply give targets for work that needs to be done, and if it is not done then the workers do not get paid – rather than treat them like children who must be corralled like cattle inside an office “pen” to make sure they get work done?

  10. Honestly, 1270 not being good enough to get you into California State University at Long Beach is the most surprising part of this story

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