Is it chutzpah - simple youthful exuberance, or misguided arrogance? It's certainly entertaining. A 19 year-old girl, predicted to get an A* in each of her three A Levels, has written to Magdalen College, Oxford, to tell them that, after attending an interview, she would rather study law somewhere else.
Elly Nowell, from Winchester, said: "You were in competition with many fantastic universities and following your interview I am afraid you did not quite meet the standard of the universities I will be considering."
The room seems to have been one of her biggest disappointments: "Whilst you may believe your decision to hold interviews in grand formal settings is inspiring, it allows public school applicants to flourish in the environment they are accustomed to and intimidates state school applicants, distorting the true academic potential of both."
That, unfortunately, belongs to the same strand of thought which says school sports days should be conducted without winners and losers, and that everyone should have prizes. It appears to suggest that state school pupils are weak, timid creatures who cannot sit in a nice room and talk with confidence. That they should be mollycoddled and insulated from the real world.
Thus it's a patronising argument. The idea appears to be that state school pupils are so demeaned by the whole experience of going to a comprehensive that they may as well not bother applying to Oxbridge at all. That they should realise it's not for them, and that a nice, sixties, red brick university would suit them much better. It is defeatist.
I used to live in Oxford, and it is beautiful. Would pupils from bog standard sixth forms not be inspired, rather than intimidated? Maybe Ms Nowell would prefer to have been interviewed in a damp pre-fab classroom with peeling lino on the floor and mouse scurrying between her feet. Perhaps that would have been more affirming for her, more empowering.
The other side of the coin, of course, is that perhaps she made a hash of her interview, wasn't expecting to be offered a place, and so decided to pre-empt a disappointing outcome.
And what of the poor dons? They will be looking for the most able students, because they'll be the most interesting to teach. Wherever they hail from.
What you think at 19 may not be what you decide later in life.
Doubtless some people keep the same beliefs all their days, but for others, life is not just a learning process, but one of re-evaluation too. It would be interesting to do a bit of time travelling, to discover whether Ms Nowell still feels the same at forty, or fifty.
She's clearly not only bright, but spirited too, and will almost certainly flourish wherever she goes. If Magdalen was intending to offer her a place, it's probably even keener on her now.
In the meantime, the university appears to have won the argument. If Elly does become a lawyer, she will be heavily reliant on facts - on the evidence. Oxford says that, "of the seven UK students who received offers for law and joint school courses at Magdalen, only one was from an independent school."
Nuff said, really.