2013 March 18 Monday
Elite Colleges Failing When Talented Poor Do Not Apply?

A David Leonhardt article in the New York Times carries this curious title: Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor. The supposed evidence of failure:

Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges

How is that failure? Sounds like success to me. The elite colleges want to recruit people who are most likely to become members of the elite in their professional and entrepreneurial pursuits. Are smart poor kids or or smart upper middle class kids more likely to become very wealthy? I'm pretty sure its the latter. So how is this outcome a failure for Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, or Stanford? Sounds like a big success.

The elite colleges could expand their class sizes in order to make more room for bright kids from the lower classes. But the elite schools keep their class sizes the same even as population grows and far more foreign applicants apply.

Harvard leads the pack with ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). Other top schools include UPenn, Columbia, and Yale. The Ivies are all about the upper classes. They are biased against Asians, most whites, and a few other categories my readers are likely to be members of. Accept that they have huge incentives to be this way and that they are not going to change in the foreseeable future.

It is time for the vast majority of the population to look away from elite schools and ask what is the best strategy for bright kids who don't want to rack up $200k of debt to get a college degree. I say early college education is the first thing to pursue. Start trying to take online courses in early teen years and even summer college courses while in early high school if you can afford it. Go for the skills with the most market value (e.g. petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, business finance classes). Get degrees sooner and at lower cost. Move to where the money is.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 March 18 09:00 PM 


Comments
Check said at March 19, 2013 5:51 PM:

"Are smart poor kids or or smart upper middle class kids more likely to become very wealthy?"

I thought you said that poor equals dumb, two or three posts behind. So, what "smart poor kids" are you talking about if you don't believe they exist?
Come on Randall, pleeeeeease!

J. said at March 19, 2013 6:14 PM:

I thought you said that poor equals dumb

What he actually wrote was, referring to blanket statements about "the poor":

The "poor" is really a euphemism for the dumb, those with high impulsiveness and low discount rates, the mentally ill, and the criminal elements of society.

Randall chooses his words carefully.

WSHH said at March 19, 2013 6:51 PM:

And "youths" is the euphemism for blacks.

Randall Parker said at March 19, 2013 8:36 PM:

J.

Thanks for recognizing that. There are reasons the poor are poor and the vast majority of them are not environmental. That's my point.

My other point is that we've got to fight framing that hides the truth.

Check it out said at March 20, 2013 3:56 PM:

Yes, J. that's as far as you go: quoting, but totally disregard IMPLICATIONS. Randall thusly needed to clarify what he meant, which I think is good, given the implications of such a big claim; one that cannot be proved at all.

Perhaps we should start using words that clearly convey our meaning -which can be hard sometimes- and call blacks "blacks", youths "youths", poor those without much money or wealth and dumb those with low intelligences and/or reasoning.

J. said at March 20, 2013 10:07 PM:

Perhaps we should start using words that clearly convey our meaning -which can be hard sometimes- and call blacks "blacks", youths "youths", poor those without much money or wealth and dumb those with low intelligences and/or reasoning.

Agreed; and the fact that many prominent people don't do that was the foundation of Randall's statement earlier - the one that completely threw you.

Yes, J. that's as far as you go: quoting, but totally disregard IMPLICATIONS.

I didn't think I needed to explain the whole sequence in detail, but since you haven't retracted your earlier posts, I will do so, using WSHH's example.

It is indeed true that news reports commonly use the word "youths" as a euphemism for "young black males." Thus Randall could have written with justification:

"In news stories of urban violent crime, "youths" is really a euphemism for young black males."

Now suppose Randall writes another post that happens to mention white or Asian young people. A hypothetical commenter, called (say) "Check it in", jumps in and writes:

"I thought you said that youth equals black male youth, two or three posts behind. So, what "white or Asian youths" are you talking about if you don't believe they exist?
Come on Randall, pleeeeeease!"

Note how confused this hypothetical "Check it in" is. Randall makes an observation about how a word ("a euphemism") is misused by others to disguise a true state of affairs. But "Check it in" takes this as a flat assertion by Randall that the word is not being misused, but is an exact description of reality ("equals").

In this way the hypothetical "Check it in" misses Randall's point completely.

Perhaps another hypothetical poster (call him "H."), in an attempt to explain, now quotes Randall's "euphemism" sentence and sets it alongside "Check it in's" "equals" sentence, believing that the contrast will be enough. Will it? At least it will be for a third hypothetical commenter, "MQVV".

Longtime Reader said at March 22, 2013 12:13 PM:

More education posts, if you please. In my area, there is a big debate regarding the International Baccalaureate prgram: whether or not it is worth the cost, and whether or not it is a globalist elite indoctrination program. Is this something that is being debated elsewhere?


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