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Local High School Student Sparks National Discussion

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- By most accounts, Taylor Allderdice High School senior Suzy Lee Weiss is a pretty bright student -- a 4.5 grade point average, a 2120 SAT score, once a U.S. Senate page.

But when her college application was rejected on the same day by Harvard, Yale, Penn and Vanderbilt, Weiss wrote this satirical article for "The Wall Street Journal," entitled "To All the Colleges that Rejected Me."

Click here to read Suzy's article.

And then she landed an appearance on the Today Show.

Weiss poked fun at what high school students have to do to get into college, writing, "Had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me any closet, and I would've happily come out of it. Diversity! I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker."

"All colleges should have a holistic approach to all applicants," Weiss said on the Today Show. "But I do however think that in this day and age we are being judged on things we cannot control as opposed to things we can."

College students are sympathetic with this issue.

"She blends in with everybody else, and she doesn't stand out as much -- less chance of getting in," noted Jeff Brienza, a Pitt freshman.

Weiss also made fun of the college essays where high school students often exaggerate, writing: "I also probably should have started a fake charity. Providing veterinary services for homeless people's pets. Collecting donations for the underprivileged chimpanzees of the Congo ... go to Africa, scoop up some suffering child, take a few pictures, and write my essays about how spending that afternoon with Kinto changed my life."

"You definitely have to make yourself stand out," said Leah Kaufman, a Pitt student. "You can't really lie, but you can definitely embellish."

And that, suggests Weiss, makes it tough for the honest student.

"I do think there's a lot of resume padding going on right now," Weiss added.

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