After an article in the Wall Street Journal about how colleges game the rankings by rejecting some applicants, the Journal published the following response on 11 June 2001:
"How Colleges Reject the Top Applicants -- And Boost Their Status" describes something that goes back much farther than the past decade and Franklin and Marshall College. Brown University was rejecting such top applicants 30 years ago.
On May 26, 1972, all applicants to Brown from Herzliah High School in Montreal published the following letter in our school newspaper, drawing on the language of the rejection letters: "We are pleased to inform you that we are all accepting your rejections of our applications to Brown University. . . . We know that your rejection of us was as much an unhappy business for you, who were responsible for the decision, as for us, who were turned away. . . . Our acceptances in no way constitute a denial that Brown has any potential, but merely convey a wish that we could have accepted more qualified rejections. We wish Brown success in its next four years, however it may spend them."
Michael M. Segal, M.D.
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The full letter as it appeared in the Herzliah Sandbox: