Moderate recommendation for college admission

As a graduate of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, I was initially pleased to read that Columbia had risen to 2nd place in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of top universities.

It was then that a math professor in Colombia challenged his employer’s ranking, alleging that he had tampered with school data to reduce the ratio between class size and student faculty and to increase the number of faculties holding terminal degrees in their field. The school insisted on the accuracy of the reported information.

While digging into this controversy, I exposed the futility of trying to rank 392 colleges with a collective metric. For example, when Shakespeare scholars probably have to hold terminal degrees, should a college be fined in its rankings for hiring a great writer who did not graduate from college like Maya Angelo and Truman Capote?

Once the data behind the rating system is open, colleges can game the system. For example, US News uses standard test scores to measure selectivity, giving schools’ accredited students a higher ranking if they have higher standard scores. This encourages colleges to upgrade their test scores by weighing more in admissions.

Students from poor and working-class families get lower scores on standardized tests – the best predictor of performance on the SAT is family income, not high school grades. Emphasis on test scores may seem counterintuitive to poor students who may benefit from compulsory personal description.


But maybe not. Our college admission process, which is considered meritocratic, is a conspiracy; This process is deceived against the poor from beginning to end. Home rule and exclusive zoning in the cities of Connecticut means that urban students are denied access to AP courses and the rigorous curriculum that selective colleges value and that suburban students enjoy.

Moreover, professional families can afford a lot of resources for their offspring. Academic tutoring to improve grades and SAT scores, college admission coaching (including essay writing), AAU, travel teams, personal athletic training, fine arts and music lessons all add to the benefits of college admission.

Poor and working students are more likely to have part-time jobs and childcare responsibilities. Students from professional families are more likely to travel (including service trips) and receive unpaid internships (having contacts to arrange it). Accordingly, affluent students have more opportunities to develop essays of the kind that admissions officers take as evidence of character. Stanford’s Center for Education and Policy Analysis has found that essays have a stronger relationship with family income than SATs.

Despite generous financial aid – many colleges are trumpeting need-blind admissions, some offering full financial aid without credit – students from the top 1 percent are 77 times more likely to enroll in an elite college than students below. Quintal of family income. Thirty-eight colleges, including Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Five Ivy, enroll more students than the bottom 60 percent and the top one percent. A quarter of the top 1 percent attend elite colleges; Less than 1 percent of students from the poorest quintile attend an elite college.

The income gap between the poor and professional families is strengthened and rebuilt in the college admission process. College graduates earn more than 50 percent more than high school graduates, and joining a selective college gives graduates an additional 20 percent boost in income. The college admission process already benefits the rich and keeps the poor below their ranks.

So, here is a moderate suggestion. Elite schools should avoid tuition, and bid on the highest bidder’s admission. They are already doing it in secret. Frankly, there are many benefits.

Higher selective colleges may cut administrative costs. Faculty members have already come out against the administrative swell; Colleges may now cut admission staff through a simpler and more efficient admission process based on a family’s willingness to pay.

This change may revolutionize the landscape of institutional progress. Colleges often include auctions in their fundraising programs. Imagine the fuss surrounding the entry auction; Its potential to bring “contributions” to a Mediterranean villa or college president’s dinner is very high.

Faculty members also ban grade inflation; 42% of college grades are A’s. This proposal is likely to reduce grades. However, we should not rule out the possibility of elite colleges taking the next logical step and auctioning grades.

Admission auctioning will reduce fraud and increase efficiency. In Operation Varsity Blues, Lori Loglin, Felicity Huffman and other wealthy parents were dissatisfied with the extent of their children’s privilege and bribed and cheated athletic and admission officials. Access auctioning increases transparency and eliminates intermediaries.

Advertising comes with transparency and truth. John Dewey, the father of progressive education who taught in Colombia over a century ago, envisioned public education as the driving force of democracy. He did not anticipate the influx of late capitalism into inequality, economic stratification and injustice and the subversion of the college admission process to protect the exclusive rights of the rich.

The unfortunate fact about social dynamics is that the upward movement of some indicates the downward movement of others. The rich seldom seize their privileges and instead seek ways to protect their gains. If we are open and honest, we can penetrate the veil of what is considered meritocracy in the college admissions process and more accurately label it as a step in favor of the rich.

Joseph Jerichos, a resident of Stratford, is a retired Catholic High School teacher and administrator.

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