Elite & Elite

Student art contest about “What Math Means to Me,” sponsored by MHE.  You can vote for one of the 72 finalists.

And TNR takes a look at inequality and elite universities. Must-read.

One Reply to “Elite & Elite”

  1. Can’t seem to comment on the TNR article directly so I’ll comment here. I agree that there’s a disproportionate push toward careers in finance, but the first two points are shaky at best. The fact that wealthy kids are overrepresented at elite schools doesn’t automatically mean that elite schools are purposely favoring the rich. TNR would have to give stats not just on the proportion of students of different income levels at elite schools, but also on the acceptance rate of students of different income levels, and then they’d have to find a way to control for the quality of the applicant (SAT scores perhaps, though they’d be poor measuring stick). It’s likely that more rich kids go to elite schools because more rich kids apply (because elite schools are perceived as out-of-reach by rich and even middle-class kids, because poor kids are less informed about them, because poor kids have fewer adults nudging them toward elite schools, etc.), and it’s also possible that more rich kids get in because more rich kids go to good high schools, take AP classes, take the SAT more than once, hire tutors, participate in expensive resume-boosting extra-curriculars, etc. The same goes for the legacy argument. Just because more legacy applicants get in that non-legacy applicants doesn’t necessarily mean that legacy applicants have an unfair advantage. It may be that legacy applicants are better prepped to get in, based on their family background, schooling, etc. I do agree that having students even indicate legacy status on an application is unfair, but it shouldn’t be such a surprise that legacy students have higher acceptance rates than non-legacy students, nor is that fact alone evidence of unfairness.

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