Out of Scope

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Written by

Hirsch Leatherwood

Out of Scope

Out of Scope Issue #156: Overgrown Ivies

Plus: Print media and having an eye for AI

Banner Photo: Scott Eisen / Getty Images

Happy Friday! This week, we examine why application policy decisions at Ivy League institutions make front-page news. But first...


  • Next up for a reputational revamp: curling? You know, the sport with the stones and the brooms? A consortium of investors known as The Curling Group is buying the Grand Slam of Curling from Sportsnet in an effort to raise the sport’s profile (perhaps taking a page or two from Pickleball).

  • By the way, how’s your posture? And now that you’ve adjusted, how long till you settle back into a slouch? Per the New Yorker, you’re not alone. In fact, slouching has been equally endemic and concerning to society for generations. Myriad medical theories and products have been developed around bump in slumps, but fresh research shows that the controversial curvature might not have adverse effects on our bodies.

  • Print media isn’t dead yet! Fashion outlet Nylon is releasing a physical magazine, and many other publications—Complex, Ebony, Saveur—are getting back into print to boost their brand awareness.

💡ON OUR MINDS: Overgrown Ivies

  • Harvard is the latest of the Ivy Leagues to reinstate standardized testing as a requirement for admissions. The decision follows Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown's rollback of pandemic-era rule changes for the unlucky Class of 2029.

  • Countless outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, AP News, Axios, and more were quick to report on the news, prophesying about how the Ivy League peers’ decisions could set a precedent for universities nationwide.

  • Yet, away from the front pages, data paints a different picture: more than 80% of four-year colleges, including the largest university system in the country, remain test-optional or test-blind. So, what gives? Why all the fuss?

  • As The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump reminded us last year, the media’s obsession with the Ivy League — a consortium of schools that only issue 0.87% of degrees — is likely because “lots of top-tier journalists attended these universities” and “have a more robust-than-usual interest in the goings-on” within them.

  • Harvard’s latest front page-worthy decision is a good reminder for readers to pay additional attention when these Ivy-covered institutions make headlines; there might be a gap between what’s happening in the real world versus what news is taking over alumni switchboards.


In case you missed these reads:

  • Out of 50,000 ChatGPT responses, an AI content detection tool found that the word “delve” was in the top 10 words used; notably tipping off both investors, like Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham, and academics that some content may be (at least, partially) written by AI.

  • While office districts in coastal cities rebuild a semblance of pre-Covid normalcy, their midwestern counterparts are struggling to do the same.

Thanks for reading,


This week's newsletter is brought to you by having to return to work after a certain sun failed to deliver.