In case you missed it this week, David Hogg, a self-appointed spokesman for gun control, revealed on Tuesday that four universities he has applied to have rejected his application.
The Florida high school student, a survivor of the February 14 shooting in Parkland who recently helped organize the March For Our Lives, said four different campuses in the University of California school system have turned him down: UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine.
Of course, he did a little more than just report that fact- he alluded that the rejections might somehow be linked to his recent advocacy. More from TMZ:
"It's not been too great for me and some of the other members of the movement, like Ryan Deitsch," he said, according to TMZ.
Hogg said he had been accepted at Florida Atlantic University, Cal Poly and Cal State San Marcos.
"If colleges want to support us in that, great, if they don't it doesn't matter, we're still going to change the world," he said.
Clearly, Hogg is using his public profile as an opportunity to point to the fact that he thinks the universities did one of two things - they either didn't admit him because of his advocacy, or they failed to factor it into his candicacy for admission.
Of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg - uber conservative commentator Laura Ingraham took it a big step further and accused Hogg of whining via this tweet:
David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates.) https://t.co/wflA4hWHXY— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 28, 2018
At which point Hogg mobilized his following and started a boycott vs Ingraham's talk show. In a hat top to where we are, the boycott had immediate legs and Ingraham was forced to apologize.
Welcome to 2018.
Was Hogg whining? No. But he was using his platform to throw some shots towards the schools in question - undoubtedly.
The problem is he's throwing general shots at the system. Here's the reality of college admission in 2018 mixed with Hogg's circumstances, which is a talent issue that has and should be debated at some length:
1. Hogg's a white kid from a family with some means. This article on his dad describes the fact his dad retired from the FBI and moved to Florida, which people generally don't do unless they are doing OK.
2. Hogg makes no mention of the other barometer for admission - ACT/SAT test scores. The fact that he didn't provide that tells me it's not an uber-high score, which is 100% OK. You know how many game changers have ACT scores in the 20's? LOTS. At the end of the day, it's more about being smart enough, mixing it with work ethic/hustle that others don't have and kicking ass in your career. Hogg's already proven he has what it takes via what he's done in the media. So you got a 27... You're fine. But you left that out when you talked to TMZ.
3. White people are generally adjusting to a new reality in college admissions. A +4.0 GPA doesn't really guarantee anyone much these days, even when combined with 30+ ACT score. See this post by my friend Tim Sackett to get a sense, and be sure to read the comments which are full of opinions about the admission process.
4. Hogg's alluding to the fact that his gun rights advocacy might have been held against him by UCLA and others. My gut tells me it wasn't factored in at all and he was left to compete with others on merit, and that UCLA and others either made this decision consciously or didn't even catch his fame in the process. You're telling me that universities (usually liberal) wouldn't want Hogg (from a law enforcement family, yet still vocal and active as anti-gun) as part of their incoming class? Please...
There's a lot of lessons in this. First up, in 2018, a kid like David Hogg can take down a famous talk show host, which is amazing but somehow expected. Also, white people are having a hard time adjusting to the new admissions scene, which I'm getting ready to go through with two sons of my own.
Wish me luck. And if my kids don't get into their primary schools, like Tom Cruise once concluded in Risky Business, 'Looks like University of Illinois". Video below - worth watching.