If you’re serious about pursuing a master’s in economics, it might make sense for us to chat — I know a bit about those programs (in the U.S. context). Depending on where you went to undergrad, what courses you took, your GRE scores, and whether you can spin a compelling narrative about why you finished with a 2.95 GPA, you may be able to get into decent master’s programs without any post-bacc coursework. I know folks who’ve done so with similar grades. That doesn’t mean, of course, that heading off in that direction would be a good idea, but it may be more of a live option than you think.
My impression is that this is also broadly true of economics at Harvard compared to economics at MIT. The Harvard econ department seems much more open to undergrads taking grad-level classes, and I have the sense that many prerequisites are not enforced. Harvard, in general, seems to do a better job of recognizing that some of its undergraduates are prepared to pursue very advanced coursework very early on in college than those of its peer schools with which I’m most familiar (which, admittedly, are not among the schools you listed). I think there are a lot of outdated, exaggerated, and not-particularly-informed claims about the Harvard undergrad experience circulating on Reddit, Quora, etc. For a more reliable picture of the opportunities that would or wouldn’t be available to you, I’d suggest reaching out to the Harvard EA student org. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to chat.
Rep. Waters’s statement on the arrest strikes me as compelling evidence against explanations in this vicinity.
I’m also inclined to trust the judgment of the attorneys on this thread about matters like this.
There's been some anticipatory buzz about it on Twitter. No clue how credible this is, but the claim seems to be that we should expect it to be unveiled in early 2023. Also consider these comments from Sam Altman last year.
I'm not sure how you'd reach the entity in question, but I noticed an FTX Future Fund regrant addressing this listed on the Fund's website.
I don't have anything approaching a clear sense of how sensitive & specific the gaokao, IIT-JEEs, etc. are at detecting extraordinary intellect, but I will say that, yeah, I have not heard good things about the incentives that those exams create for students seeking admission to university. Even in places like France, where access to higher education is much less competitive (and much less high-stakes) than in China or India, the baccalauréat seems like it distorts students' incentives in pretty unproductive directions. Whether or not that makes it worse than the current system in the U.S., I don't know.
This assumes that the task of differentiating Ivy Smart+ applicants from mere Ivy Smart applicants is an efficiently solvable screening problem. I think it very likely isn’t and that the costs (to both universities and their applicants) of reworking the application process so that it could reliably distinguish the 99.5th percentile (by intellect) of high schoolers applying to college nationally from the 99th percentile of that group would be unacceptably high. (Notably, the SAT/ACT can’t solve this problem — they’re noisy on the order of several percentiles.)
You might be interested in some of Ben Enke's work on related topics, especially these papers.