The myth that a Yale education is best for every student

To the Editor:

The Yale Daily News article (“Trying to shed the Yale admissions myth,” 9/27) addresses some important issues about who comes to Yale, who doesn’t, and why — issues often not considered by our community.

While the Undergraduate Office of Admissions’ desire to attract intelligent, talented and qualified students from diverse backgrounds is a fundamental part of Yale College’s mission, it is important for everyone in our community to remember that Yale is not acceptable to all such students. It is our attitude of disbelief at a student’s rejection of Yale — particularly when such rejection is not simply in favor of another Ivy League school — that tends to give us our “stuck up” reputation.

Yale is an excellent and privileged educational institution. But it is not necessarily a superior educational institution for every student. We will not debunk the “myth” referred to in the article’s title until we humbly acknowledge this fact.

We should also remember that those students who come here blindly, simply because of Yale’s name and reputation, may well end up worse off in terms of their education than the students described in the article. These Yale students believe that an education is something you buy, not something you make for yourself, and that the key to buying the best education is simply to shop at the most prestigious and expensive “store.” This belief is false and harmful.

Ariel Mae Lambe ’04

September 27, 2001