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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Was Brandeis your first choice?

Published: January 26, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

Why would anyone apply here Early? Amy Hoffman 10 echoed a popular stereotype about the universitys admissions when responding to the question of why she did not consider Early Decision as an option for applying to Brandeis.

Indeed, Brandeis seems to have garnered a reputation as a second-choice schoola place for those rejected from the Ivy League or similarly exclusive institutions, like Tufts or Northwestern. But with 76 percent of the class of 2010 in the top tenth of their high school classes and an average composite S.A.T. score of 1367, Brandeis applicants can certainly compete. Then is this reputation true?

Ive never heard of anyone who said that Brandeis was their dream school or anything,” said Mandee Schwartz 09. At least not in the way there are people who have wanted to go to Harvard since they were eight.

Lee Marmor 10 agreed. Brandeis was my third choice, not counting the Ivies. But I do like it here.

Hoffmann blames Brandeiss larger reputation for its applicants lackluster attitude, saying, There are so many rumors about Brandeis: That everyone is ugly, that it has no social life, that its harder than the Ivy Leagues without being as glamorous. Why would you want to come here if you thought thats what it was like? However, she added, I do like it here, though.

Plenty of other students besides Hoffmann like Brandeisit has a 94 percent retention rate. And despite the rumors, students do apply Early Decision.

Schwartz is one of them. I applied Early here because out of all the colleges that I visited, the people here seemed the nicest, she said. It had nothing to do with the Jewish population of the schoolthat was actually a con for me. I just thought Id be able to make friends the easiest here and, even though it wasnt a Top 10 school, it was still better than the State schools most of my family went to.

Hannah Merchant 10 says Brandeis was her first choice. I wanted to come here because it just seemed the nicest. Its a cute little place and all the people seemed nice and geeky in a good way. Its not actually that different from my high school, she said.

Josh Gondelman 07 points out another flaw in the argument that no one wants to go to Brandeis. While there are plenty of people for whom Brandeis is a safety or a second choice, there are also a lot of people for whom getting into Brandeis was a real achievement, he said. I think those people get overlooked a lot.

Sarah Bernes 10 offered her solution. This just boils down to the fact that people constantly talk badly about this school. It would really improve the atmosphere if they stopped. If you dont like it, why do you go here? The fact is, its a good school with a high acceptance rate for med and law school and you should be glad you got in.