Perhaps this new emphasis on college is the continuation of the American emphasis on meritocracy, the idea that by working hard in high school you can pull yourself up to Ivy League prestige. As another sixth grader told the Times, ‘’With the Ivy League schools, my dad always says that to get into them, it’s like a race. Let’s say we could put the whole grade in a race. People have to fall. People have to stop to tie a shoe. But if you keep getting good grades, you race and race to the top.” This survival of the fittest mentality may be brutal, but at least achieving the best is earned.