Many of the freshmen arriving on campus this month at golden institutions like Harvard, Yale, MIT MITD -39.95% and Stanford already have resumes that would make a corporate headhunter salivate. These future leaders have scored off-the-charts on their SATs and juggled—if not founded—a handful of extracurricular clubs. They aced their STEM classes while playing three varsity sports, and eeked out the time to spend their summers volunteering in African orphanages.
For William Deresiewicz the rat race for college admissions—and, later, for entry into the top banks and law firms—has robbed these ultra-high achievers of their passion, intellectual curiosity, purpose and depth. Students today, he suggests, regard their education at elite institutions not as an opportunity to develop their character, but as just another credential, "an algorithm to be cracked in order to get to the next level," as one graduate of Deerfield Academy told the author. They chase "success" with no greater purpose to guide them. And the universities they attend, which regard them increasingly as customers rather than students, do little to provide one. Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal.