The process of finding one’s way into a boarding school or university can be undertaken with or without the support of outside expertise. For generations, families making such choices did nothing more than engage social prejudice: They sent their sons and, later, their daughters to the same institutions that father and grandfather had attended first. The “Old Boy” network.
As admissions policies in the United States began to shift away from wealth-based credentials in the 1950’s and away from all-male selectivity at many of the most prestigious schools in the 1970’s, earned credentials emerged as a leading determinant of admissibility to this country’s increasingly selective private institutions. Eventually, schools and colleges recognized their obligation to compete for the most capable applicants – young women and men from all types of backgrounds with one thing in common: a desire to optimize their educational experience by finding academic programming to match their specific aspirations.
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