Chris Dixon explains how Tom Pinckney got into MIT without a high school diploma:
Tom grew up in rural South Carolina and mostly stayed at home writing video games on his Apple II. There was no place nearby to go to high school. He took a few community college classes but none of those places could give him a high school degree. It didn’t really matter – all he wanted to do was program computers. So when it came time to apply to college, Tom just printed out a pile of code he wrote and sent it to colleges.
It’s worth noting that the incentives for college administrators are completely misaligned with this sort of flexibility in admissions standards.
In the larger sense, this is a reminder that when it comes to evaluating things, room should be made for the exercise of human judgement, especially when the relationship between measurable factors and the final results cannot be easily quantified.