Monday, September 24, 2007

The lottery

Jerome Karabel at the New York Times on the inequities built into the admissions process at America's elite colleges:
Just how skewed the system is toward the already advantaged is illustrated by the findings of a recent study of 146 selective colleges and universities, which concluded that students from the top quartile of the socioeconomic hierarchy (based on parental income, education and occupation) are 25 times more likely to attend a “top tier” college than students from the bottom quartile.
Another dismaying piece of information: "by the conventional definition, which relies heavily on scores on the SAT, the privileged are the meritorious; of all students nationwide who score more than 1300 on the SAT, two-thirds come from the top socioeconomic quartile and just 3 percent from the bottom quartile."

1 comment:

  1. 25 times more likely.
    2/3rds versus 3%.

    Those line up almost as if > 1300 SAT were a bright line admissions test, so I'm not clear on what is additionally dismaying about the second bit. It may even be seen as a bit encouraging, as a smidgen of evidence that "affirmative action for the privileged" may not be a large distorting factor in overall admissions.