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This week’s question

Is it in the best interests of MIT to admit well-rounded students or students who are exceptional in one area?

“People who excel in one area are probably more valuable to MIT. They have proven their ability. You can always become well-rounded while at college anyways.”

Gordon R. O. Campbell G

“I think it’s better for MIT to take exceptional students as long as they are at least capable in other areas. This is because MIT will benefit more from an aggregate of exceptional students rather than a bunch of well-rounded ones. Well-rounded students may increase our average talent level but they won’t make MIT stand out.”

Christian Baekkelund ’00

“It’s important to have a good mix of both. You don’t want people who are exceptional in one area but incompetent in a lot of others.”

Emery C. Lin ’02

“I think it is in the best interests of MIT to admit well-rounded people because college is more than just academics. College has a lot of diverse opportunities which you would lose if everyone was isolated in their own fields. If MIT wants to attract more well-rounded students, they should emphasize the humanities departments a lot more.”

Polo A. Banuelos ’99

“I think it’s better for MIT to admit the specialized people because other students can learn from their expertise. Much of what college is about is learning from your peers. A lot of people might say that well-rounded students are more motivated to explore many other interests and take full advantage of an MIT education, but I think students can be more motivated by example -- seeing a physics genius bust out a difficult problem makes me want to be become better.”

Ashwinder S. Ahluwalia ’00

Compiled by Naveen Yalamanchi