It wasn’t a black student who bumped your kid’s college admission
Wanna know who did?
I sometimes hear white friends express anger that their kiddo didn’t get accepted at the U. The assumption quickly follows that he or she got bumped by someone nonwhite.
Turns out the data support another conclusion: It’s more likely your kid got bumped by a white kid with a rich daddy. Privileged white kids account for nearly twice as many substandard admissions as do kids of color.
The Boston Globe’s Peter Schmidt, in an article headlined At the Elite Colleges – Dim White Kids, reported on research by the Educational Testing Service, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Educational Trust. A few excerpts:
[S]elective colleges are … boasting … they have increased their black and Hispanic enrollments … National Merit scholars or … high school valedictorians…What they almost never say is that many of the applicants who were rejected were far more qualified than those accepted. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, it was not the black and Hispanic beneficiaries of affirmative action, but the rich white kids with cash and connections who elbowed most of the worthier applicants aside.
…[A]bout 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards. … White students who failed to make the grade … were nearly twice as prevalent on such campuses as black and Hispanic students who received an admissions break based on their ethnicity …
A sizable number are recruited athletes … A larger share, however, are students who gained admission through their ties to people the institution wanted to keep happy, with alumni, donors, faculty members, administrators, and politicians topping the list. …
[C]olleges routinely favor those who have connections over those who don’t. While some applicants gain admission by legitimately beating out their peers, many others get into exclusive colleges the same way people get into trendy night clubs, by knowing the management or flashing cash at the person manning the velvet rope.
Further, you’ll discover there that only 40% of scholarships go to students in financial need. And that over the last two decades, the middle class has been gradually squeezed out as a percentage of students at selective colleges. And that while the number of students qualifying for Pell grants is increasing, the percentage of Pell grant students at selective colleges is going down. The author concludes:
[R]ather than promoting social mobility, our nation’s selective colleges [both state and private] appear to be thwarting it, by turning away applicants who have excelled given their circumstances and offering second chances to wealthy and connected young people who have squandered many of the advantages life has offered them.
Why is it that we so often, in America, blame the victims? Is it because the wealthy are so skilled at keeping their secrets, that we always look down the social ladder, rather than up, for the cause of our problems? I suppose it’s an effective diversionary tactic: as long as the economically average blame those poorer than themselves, people of privilege can keep stealing the horses.
For once again, we middle class whites have blamed black, brown and red for the thefts committed against us by rich white people.
Tags: Affirmative+Action, college+admissions, race, class, white+privilege, Monte Asbury
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