Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Low Income Admissions

The May 27 issue of the New York Times includes an interesting article about the efforts to colleges to recruit students from lower socioeconomic class backgrounds. The factors taken into account are family income, parents' education and occupations level. The article includes some stunning statistics. For example, 75% of the students at what the article calls top colleges are from the top 25% socioeconomic quartile. Only 10% come from the lower 50% socioeconomically. Yes, that is lower half. Yes, that is only 10%.

Perhaps more interesting is the that a study of 28 universities nearly 10 years ago revealed that affirmative action programs mainly attracted middle class or upper middle class. In fact, 86% of those admitted under affirmative action programs were from the middle or upper middle class. One wonders just how interested the schools recruiting black students were in diversity. It their affirmative action efforts were any thing like faculty hiring efforts I have seen, diversity actually means "not all that diverse." God forbid that the elitists who run higher education actually experience real diversity.

I should be happy to see the new lower socioeconomic class recruiting efforts and I am but the there is a lingering concern. Perhaps is the way the article is written and not the reality but the sense is that these lower socioeconomic class students are like curiosities. Will they fall out of fashion in few years?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No it is too trendy to fall out of favor, warming the heart of those who like to feel noble. Critics like Thomas Sowell have been pointing out for decades that so called affirmative action, invoked so often in the name of the poor, actually benefits the better off who could do without it. It is a pattern repeated internationally too as far away as India and Malaysia. But who listens to facts anymore? lol

Thomas Sowell: Affirmative Action: An International Perspective