A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.

Jeremiah: I read everything. I read biographies, mainly because I didn't know how other people live their lives. I think my variations reading came from a deep longing for something that was missing. I was searching for someone, for my story. To not feel so alone.
Portia Nathan: You all want to know the secret formula for getting in. To do your job well, an admissions officer must be on the receiving end of an entire nation's application panic, endure the frustration of all the parents who just realized there isn't room for every organically-fed, well-tutored offspring. Of course everyone thinks we're sadists, that we like saying no. We are in this job for one reason, to say yes.
[last lines]
Portia Nathan: What's the secret of getting in? I can't tell you. You'll have to find out for yourself.
Susannah: Your... your lawn jockeys are outstanding.
Mrs. Pressman: Aren't they fun?
Portia Nathan: [to Susannah] What the hell, Mom? Put the gun down!

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