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December 27, 1988

Larry Gordon wrote a well-researched article "Eastern Colleges: Recruiters Offer West a Taste of Ivy" (Part I, Dec. 13). However, I would like to offer a somewhat different perspective based on personal experiences shared by my son and myself.

Many local teen-agers are increasingly interested in Eastern schools as it is becoming almost impossible for them to get into the big name UC schools due to overenrollment and competition.

My son, a junior with a 3.6 honor-roll average and a star athlete, has little to no chance of making UC Berkeley, and may not qualify for UCLA. The problem is that the rest of the UC schools don't enjoy the prestige that the Eastern schools apparently still do.

However, the Eastern schools are really not out here to recruit Californians; they are out here because they can shamelessly get all of their quotas met with one shot in Los Angeles or, as some college recruiters blatantly told me at College Night last year, at the L.A. Convention Center.

The saddest part was how turned-off my son became when he inquired at the Princeton booth, and they asked him: "What minority group are you?" He replied, "Hungarian, Scottish, Greek, Jewish, Protestant." Their solemn retort was, "Can't you come up with something better? Are you sure you're not Spanish at all? We're looking for real minorities from here. You'll have a tough time getting in with your background."

Is this what college enrollment in 1988 is all about? I'm not a racist by any stretch of the imagination, but what does this teach my kid who tries to believe everyone is equal?


Agoura Hills

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