您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 国际 >> 正文

哈佛在找什么样的学生?

更新时间:2018-10-22 19:40:47 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Harvard’s Admissions Process, Once Secret, Is Unveiled in Affirmative Action Trial
哈佛在找什么样的学生?

BOSTON — The deliberations that take place inside 86 Brattle Street, a red brick building where Harvard University’s admissions committee convenes, have very much stayed inside 86 Brattle Street.

波士顿——哈佛大学招生委员会在位于布拉托街86号的红砖建筑内开会时的讨论,一直都十分秘密地留在这栋建筑里。

Until now.

直到现在。

A federal trial that began this week accusing Harvard of stacking the deck against Asian-American applicants is providing a rare glimpse into the secretive selection process at one of the country’s most elite universities. It is as if those sitting on the wood benches before Judge Allison D. Burroughs of Federal District Court in Boston have been invited inside the inner sanctum of the Harvard Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

本周,一项指控哈佛大学对亚裔美国申请者暗中做手脚的案子在一家联邦法院开庭,让人们得以罕见地窥视美国最顶尖大学之一的神秘挑选过程。那些在波士顿联邦地区法院法官阿利森·D·伯勒斯(Allison D. Burroughs)面前的木凳上就座的人们,仿佛被邀请进入了哈佛大学招生和助学金办公室(Harvard Office of Admissions and Financial Aid)的内室。

There is the longtime dean of admissions, William Fitzsimmons (Harvard Class of 1967), on the stand, grilled on whether rural students receive a leg up over urban students. They do.

人们看到哈佛大学长期负责招生的院长威廉·菲茨西蒙斯(William Fitzsimmons, 1967届哈佛毕业生)在法庭上被询问,来自农村的学生是否比来自城市的有优势。回答是“有”。

There on a big screen are his emails with the university’s fund-raisers, suggesting special consideration for the offspring of big donors, those who have “already committed to a building” or have “an art collection which could conceivably come our way.”

大屏幕上显示着他与为哈佛募集资金者的电子邮件往来,其中有对大额捐赠者——那些“已承诺为一栋楼出资”或“拥有可能会到我们手中的艺术品收藏”的人——的后代给予特别考虑的暗示。

Grades, test scores, intended major, personality ratings, ethnicity — all the various factors that can help turn an anonymous high school student into a Harvard man or Harvard woman are being dissected for all to see.

成绩、考试分数、意向专业、个性评分、族裔——所有能帮助把一名没有特色的高中生变成哈佛学子的各种因素,都剖析给所有的人看。

Actual student files have been introduced into evidence, with Thang Q. Diep’s family history being pored over alongside Sally Chen’s test scores.

真实的学生档案已被用作法庭上的证据,汤·Q·叶(Thang Q. Diep)的家史与萨莉·陈(Sally Chen)的考试成绩一起受到审阅。

Court documents and trial testimony have introduced Harvard admissions jargon: “tips” are bumps given to applicants, the “dean’s interest list” is a compendium of applicants with clout, and the “Z-list” is a sort of back door into the college for students who are borderline academically. For everyone, the odds are long, as nearly 43,000 applicants sought spots in the Class of 2022 and just 2,024 received letters prompting high-fives and teary phone calls.

法庭文件和庭审证词已把哈佛的招生术语介绍给了大庭广众:“额外考虑”提高了申请人的录取概率,“院长关注名单”是有势力的申请人的汇编,“Z名单”则是学业一般的学生通往哈佛的一种后门。对每个申请人来说,录取的概率都很低,将近4.3万名申请人希望成为今年的新生,只有2024人收到了令他们相互击掌庆祝和在电话中热泪盈眶的录取通知书。

Although many selective colleges are known to engage in the same admissions tactics, Harvard’s lawyers lamented in pretrial papers that being forced to produce application materials would be like divulging trade secrets, and would allow students and college counselors to game the process, which is in full swing right now. The judge even likened Harvard’s formula to the recipe for Coke.

虽然人们知道许多名牌大学都采用同样的招生策略,但哈佛大学的律师们在预审文书中痛惜地说,被迫提交申请材料将会像是泄露商业机密,会让学生和帮助学生申请高校的辅导员钻招生过程的空子。这个神秘的招生过程目前正在全面公开,法官甚至把哈佛的挑选方法比作可口可乐的配方。

In the end, however, Harvard’s lead counsel, Bill Lee (Harvard Class of 1972), said this week that it had been necessary to spill some secrets.

不过,哈佛大学的首席代理律师比尔·李(Bill Lee, 1972届哈佛毕业生)终于在本周表示,泄露一些秘密是有必要的。

“I’ve definitely not revealed the secret of Coke,” said Mr. Lee, who represented Apple in a patent suit against Samsung — another trial that exposed closely guarded secrets. But, he acknowledged, “you’re learning a lot about the admissions process that never would have been public otherwise. We want you to know. Once you understand it, you can understand how decisions are made.”

“我肯定没有泄露可口可乐的秘密,”李说。比尔·李曾在苹果诉三星的专利案中担任苹果的代理律师,该案的审理也暴露了严格保守的秘密。不过,他承认,“你们将了解很多录取过程中的事情,这些事情原本永远不会公开。我们想让你们知道这个过程。一旦你们了解了它,你们就能了解决定是怎样做出的。”

Some, but not all, of the secrets have buttressed Harvard’s elite reputation.

秘密中有一些(并非全部)支撑着哈佛的精英名声。

It casts a wide net for students, aggressively recruiting those in “sparse country,” predominantly rural areas that yield few applications. It considers a dizzying array of factors, from SAT scores (the higher the better) to athletic ability (recruited athletes receive a big advantage) to interviews (be “effervescent,” “fun,” but “mature”) and more. A lack of deep pockets won’t hinder a hopeful and might even help one’s chances, testimony showed.

哈佛广开招生门路,积极争取来自“稀少地区”的学生,这些主要是农村地区,申请的人数很少。哈佛考虑一系列令人眼花缭乱的因素,从SAT分数(越高越好)到体育能力(被招募的运动员有很大的优势),再到面试(“热情洋溢”、“有趣”,但“成熟”)等等。证词显示,不是来自殷实之家并不会成为负担,甚至可能会对其录取的机会有所帮助。

But there were other disclosures suggesting that admissions decisions are somewhat arbitrary.

但也有其他的披露暗示,录取决定多少有点任意。

There is the special list for those whom the admissions dean has taken an interest in, some of whom are the relatives of wealthy donors. There is the vague “personal” rating, which can lift or hurt an applicant’s chances based on an assessment of character traits and background, from “outstanding” to “bland or somewhat negative or immature” to “questionable personal qualities.” And the trial this week has raised questions about whether unconscious bias affects the process, either on the part of admissions officials or the teachers and counselors who write letters on applicants’ behalf.

有一个让负责招生的院长感兴趣的特别名单,上面有些人是富裕捐赠者的亲属。有一个不明确的“个性”评分,这个基于性格特征和背景的评估给申请人打上从“优秀”到“平淡无奇或多少有些负面或不成熟”,再到“个性有问题”的评分,可以提高或损害申请人的录取机会。本周的庭审上提出的问题是:无意识的偏见,无论是招生官员的还是为申请人写推荐信的老师和辅导员的,是否对招生程序有影响?

More important than numerical ratings — Harvard uses a scale of 1 (top of the heap) to 6 (no chance) to measure the many aspects of a student’s profile — is “the description and the complexity of the description” provided by those assessing the applicant, Mr. Fitzsimmons said this week in testimony.

哈佛大学用从1(顶级)到6(不可能录取)的分数来衡量申请人的各个方面,菲茨西蒙斯本周在证词中说,比这些分数更重要的,是那些申请评审者的“描述以及描述的复杂性”。

A rare look inside a student’s admissions file this week has shined a light on what that means. Harvard referred the court to Thang Q. Diep (Harvard Class of 2019), who had only middling test scores but was admitted to the college by showing a strong work ethic and “infectiously happy personality,” as his admissions file says. Mr. Diep, who was born in Vietnam, submitted part of his file in court to help Harvard fight charges of discrimination.

本周得以罕见看到的一名学生的录取材料,阐述了这些话的意思。哈佛大学把汤·Q·叶(哈佛2019届毕业生)的材料作为证据提交给了法庭,他的考试成绩只属中等,但正如他的录取材料所说,录取他是因为他表现出强烈的工作伦理和“富有感染力的快乐个性”。出生于越南的汤·Q·叶为了帮助哈佛做针对歧视指控的辩护,向法庭提交了自己材料的部分内容。

“Here’s a person who until the fourth grade was in another country and English was not his first language,” Mr. Fitzsimmons said.

“这是一名直到四年级还在另一个国家、英语不是母语的学生,”菲茨西蒙斯说。

Mr. Fitzsimmons quoted an admissions interviewer as saying that what was most striking about Mr. Diep was “his fun, casual nature, but impressive, understated maturity.”

菲茨西蒙斯援引一位招生面试官的话说,汤·Q·叶最显著的特点是“他风趣、无忧无虑的个性,但令人印象深刻、不过分的成熟”。

Mr. Diep’s admissions file noted he would be a likely candidate for the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, which offers full rides to low-income families. In summing up Mr. Diep’s personal essay, one reviewer highlighted his “immigrant Vietnamese identity” and that Mr. Diep was “grappling with sexual identity.” The reviewer mentioned a “filmmaking summit” as an extracurricular activity of note.

汤·Q·叶的录取材料指出,他会是哈佛助学金计划(Harvard Financial Aid Initiative)的可能候选人。该计划为低收入家庭提供全额资助。在总结汤·Q·叶的个人申请文书时,一位评审者强调了该生的“越南移民身份”,并指出汤·Q·叶正在“努力解决性别认同的问题”。评审者提到的引人注目的课外活动是一个“电影制作峰会”。

Other admissions files have offered insights into how reviewers distill personal traits from the accomplishments and activities listed. Erica Bever, an admissions officer, testified Friday morning about a student whose application she had reviewed, Sally Chen. She went to a highly competitive high school, but her scores were “a little bit lower than many of her peers,” Ms. Bever said.

其他的录取文件让人深入了解了评审者如何从申请人列举的成就和活动中提炼出该生的个人特性。负责招生的教员埃丽卡·彼弗(Erica Bever)于上周五上午在法庭上作证,介绍了学生萨莉·陈的录取情况,彼弗曾评审过该生的申请材料。彼弗说,萨莉·陈上的是一所竞争激烈的高中,不过,她的分数“比她的许多同学要低一点”。

Her father was a chef, her mother a homemaker, which Ms. Bever said made her consider whether this applicant had had the same opportunities as some others. She played first violin in an orchestra and was student association president, both characteristics that Ms. Bever said showed leadership. She was doing research, mentoring and web design.

萨莉·陈的父亲是一名厨师,母亲是一名家庭主妇,彼弗说,这让她考虑这位申请人是否有与其他某些申请人一样的机会。萨莉·陈曾在一个管弦乐队担任第一小提琴手,并担任过学生会主席,彼弗说,这两个特点都表明她具有领导力。萨莉·陈还做研究,指导其他学生,并做网页设计。

But what particularly moved Ms. Bever were the teacher and guidance counselor ratings, she said, one of which said that Ms. Chen was “a well spoken, ambitious and humorous person.”

但彼弗说,最让她动心的是老师和辅导员的评价,其中一个评价说,萨莉·陈是一个“谈吐得体、雄心勃勃、幽默风趣的人”。

Ms. Chen was admitted to the Class of 2019, and is now on the witness list for this trial.

萨莉·陈被录取为2019届的学生,目前在这次审理的证人名单上。

“We have to reject students who are exceptional,” Ms. Bever testified. “But we make choices.”

“我们不得不拒绝一些优秀的学生,”彼弗在作证时说。“但我们得做选择。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表