Economist Raj Chetty, director of Opportunity Insights at Harvard University, discusses his new study on admissions at elite universities and other dimensions of social and economic mobility and inequality in the U.S. (30 mins.).
“…new research by Harvard’s Raj Chetty finds that legacy students from families in the top 1 percent of the income distribution are five times more likely to be admitted to the nation’s most selective colleges compared with middle-class applicants with similar test scores and demographics…
“Ending public subsidies for colleges that embrace the ethos of a restrictive country club isn’t radical — it’s democratic, meritocratic, and equitable. Taxpayers have the right to ask publicly subsidized institutions of higher education to focus on educating qualified students and to set transparent, performance-based requirements for admission. Colleges that prefer to use a subjective and self-serving approach ought to do it on their own dime.”
“Selective colleges — a small slice of higher education writ large — are now looking for ways to ensure that they do not admit lower numbers of Black, Latino/a, and Native students. Ending legacy admissions could be one way to do that — if it’s paired with other methods of outreach and support, higher-ed officials say. Yet the number to have done so is small.”
Harvard University – 2018.
“I never benefited from White privilege. I wasn’t born into wealth. My family was poor. The only reason I got into college was because I worked very hard in high school and I got good grades, and then worked at night cleaning toilets in an office building to pay for it.”