Dad of Bay Area teen rejected by colleges but hired by Google calls for admissions transparency

Kristen Sze Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Dad of teen rejected by colleges calls for admissions transparency
The father of the Bay Area teen who was rejected by 16 colleges but hired by Google, is launching a movement to demand transparency in admissions.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The father of the Palo Alto teen who was rejected by 16 colleges but hired months later by Google, is launching a movement to demand transparency in college admissions.

Nan Zhong says dozens of parents with similar stories have reached out to him since his son Stanley Zhong's journey from college rejection to Google went viral.

Even Elon Musk tweeted about it. On Monday, Nan Zhong told ABC7 News that he has a plan to make college admissions less of a black box.

EXCLUSIVE: Expert explains possible reasons why Bay Area HS grad Google hire was denied by colleges

Nan Zhong revealed he spoke at a webinar organized by the Alliance for Impact that was attended by 500 people on Sunday, and suggested ideas for making admissions decisions more transparent.

"Have an independent third-party that audit a subset, random subset of students' application and their results, and therefore the parents and the students can have some assurance that the process has integrity," Zhong said.

When asked about the speculation that Stanley being Asian could have played into the admissions factor, Zhong says there's not enough data to draw a conclusion one way or another. However, he points out that in California, race cannot be a factor even before the Supreme Court rule, since the state passed a law in the 1990s that bans the use of race in college admission process.

He has recruited over 100 volunteers to build coalitions, reach out to colleges and lawmakers, organize rallies, as well as consider a ballot initiative or even lawsuit.

RELATED: Bay Area high school grad rejected by 16 colleges reveals how he got Google job

Zhong, who is a Google software engineering manager, says he supports the practice of companies abandoning college education requirements for hiring. As to why this matters so much, since many on social media commented that Stanley's case seems to prove that elite college admissions doesn't determine success.

Zhong has this to say: "We'd like to find out if the college admission offices do have a practice of rejecting overqualified students. And what is the definition of overqualified? And why do they do that?"

Zhong is recruiting additional volunteers to join the movement. To learn more, click here.

Watch the full interview in the media player above.

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