Untangling the Ivy League
College Prowler ®. 2005. 567p. ISBN 1-59658-500-5. pap. $24.95.
by Erica L. Foley, Flint P.L., MI
This is definitely not your average admission guide — it “untangles” so much more! Covered here is everything one needs to know about the eight Ivy League institutions — Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale, from urban legends to athletics, from each institution’s history to the attractiveness of its students. And Zawel obtains his information from the inside, including from current and former undergraduates, a former Yale admissions officer, and the executive director of the Council of Ivy Group Presidents. The first two sections cover the history of the Ivy League as an athletic group and an intellectual force. The third section covers practical admission advice, including analyses of affirmative action and legacy admissions. Finally, the majority of this work is devoted to grading each school on over 20 aspects of campus life ranging from the traditional (academics) to the practical (off-campus housing, computers, security) to the social (guys, girls, nightlife). Potential graduate students, along with undergraduate hopefuls, could find this section of interest. Although the prose could be much more polished, the many charts, pull-out quotes, and grade summaries for each school, within so many categories of evaluation, make skimming a viable option for readers in a hurry. Recommended especially for public and high school libraries.