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Advice to High School Seniors: Don't Apply to Northwestern

Written by Scott A. Shay
December 2023

It's college application season and you are considering where to apply. One piece of advice I have for you is don't apply to Northwestern. I loved being a student at Northwestern. I relished the learning eco-system and I was energized by the intellectual rigor and openness of the faculty and the students. 

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Scott A. Shay

Scott A. Shay is a businessman, thought leader and author of three books. Scott’s most recent book, Conspiracy U: A Case Study (Wicked Son, 2021), challenges the proliferation of anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories championed on college campuses from the far-right and far-left. His second book, In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism (Post Hill Press, 2018), explores the most common critiques of monotheism and incorporates Jewish, Christian, and Muslim voices. His first book, Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry (Devora, 2007), focuses on the core issues facing American Jews. Scott has been a long time Jewish activist and has served on the boards of local, national, and international Jewish organizations. He is currently president of Chai Mitzvah, a national Jewish engagement program for adults and teens. Scott has been very active on college campuses and high schools, educating students and alumni about the impact of anti-Zionist Conspiracy theories. He is taking his message into the business world as well. 


Scott has had a long career in the investment world. He was a co-founder and Chairman of Signature Bank, and a founding director of Bank United of Texas and Super Derivatives. He also served for many years as a managing director of Ranieri & Co. which he co-founded with Lew Ranieri. Scott has a long history of being involved with Israel investments. He was part of the team that privatized Bank Hapoalim and served on its board for eight years. Presently, Scott is Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Elah Funds. The Elah Funds partners and invests in Israeli growth companies that have the potential to become globally impactful companies.


Scott earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University.




Conspiracy U exposes how conspiracy theories drawn from far-right and far-left ideologies masquerade as scholarship at many universities, endangering our norms and conceptions of morality and truth.

  • #1 Amazon New Book Release in Jewish History of Religion

  • 2022 Gold Literary Titan Book Award winner


Walt “Clyde” Frazier NBA Legend

"Scott is a much-needed referee calling fouls on professors who aren't playing by the rules."


Yossi Klein Halevi, Author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

"Scott Shay has written a courageous and compelling critique of the ways that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have taken root in parts of academia."


Detroit Free Press

"A devastating and clear-minded deep dive into the phenomenon of conspiracy theories."

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