Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why Is the Ivy League Taken Seriously?

According to TaxProfBlog:

My wife and I scrimped and saved to send our two kids to an exceptionally strong private school in Cincinnati, and we are thrilled by the great college choices our kids have had.  But we have been surprised by the college admissions results over the past two years at their high school -- not by the thumb on the scale in favor of racial minorities, athletes, and legacies, but by the extent of the admissions bump enjoyed by students from wealthy families. Such students have fared better in the admissions process than non-wealthy students with higher test scores, higher grades, and richer extracurricular and leadership activities.  Indeed, for upper-middle class (not "rich") families, a key decision point in the process is whether to apply for financial aid -- as the New York Times and others have reported, a dirty secret in the admissions game is that many (most? all?) colleges apply looser admissions standards if a student's parents are able to pay the tuition "rack rate," particularly in the case of elite colleges that promise loan-free financial assistance to all needy admitted students.  Such families are in a quandary given the opaqueness of the financial aid process -- don't apply, and run the risk of missing out on financial aid; apply, and run the risk of losing out in the admissions lottery.  The problem is exacerbated at elite schools outside the Top 10 or so which offer merit scholarships -- these schools typically require interested students to apply for financial aid in order to be eligible for academic scholarships.
On the other hand, in some quarters criticism of an Ivy League monopoly is regarded as a defense of mediocrity.

Run this by me again. Why is the Ivy League taken seriously at all?

Meanwhile, if you really are elite, please don't go to an Ivy League school. You're only going to raise the prestige of the undeserving.

ObSF: Pehanron College.


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