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"Race" in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 12


Replies to: "Race" in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 12

  • 1NJParent1NJParent Registered User Posts: 845 Member
    edited February 11
    They would have admitted some students who served some institutional goals in different ways, not necessarily "unhooked". And not necessarily with higher or better academic credentials or stats.
    I don't understand your logic. Are you saying all these otherwise-"unqualified" legacies would be replaced by other hooked groups such as athletic recruits or URMs, or some other new hooked group the college may choose to create?
  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,385 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    I'm glad that the conversation has taken this turn and led to this place. I love the essay of @LadyMeowMeow above. I am actually not so sure that it wouldn't work. The adcom reader is basically an HR person - they will run that sort of essay up to someone who matters - if the application hadn't already been taken away from them and fast-tracked already.

    Here is the bottom line. Holistic admissions is designed to cement the existing status quo. Think of it in those terms, and you won't go wrong in your analysis.
  • 1NJParent1NJParent Registered User Posts: 845 Member
    Regarding MIT and Caltech, so often cited here, if, as with them, the preponderance of your operating budget is met by research grants.
    Research grants, whether public or private, have dedicate purposes. They're more, not less, restricted than most donations. MIT and Caltech would surely love to have more donations. Who wouldn't? But there's a price to be paid.
  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 Registered User Posts: 962 Member
    LadyMeow, I hope your daughter’s enjoying her Yale education (that’s where she is, right?), made possible by untold numbers of these people you drip with contempt for.
  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 Registered User Posts: 962 Member
    @1NJParent - the point is that the principal funding source for the activities in which MIT, a research juggernaut focused almost exclusively on STEM fields, chooses to engage is research grants. This is in contrast to Harvard, which has a much larger overall budget and spread of activities and departments, but can’t rely on research funds to the extent of MIT, in part because it isn’t the tippy-top STEM institution MIT is, but also because many of Harvard’s activities are not in areas where there are huge research dollars available. Accordingly, Harvard has to rely to a much greater extent than MIT on endowment distributions and fundraising, which require engaged alumni.
  • LadyMeowMeowLadyMeowMeow Registered User Posts: 273 Junior Member
    My kid is doing great. Please know that I have nothing but admiration and respect for the people who made HYPS strong institutions, to the extent that they are, but according to their own lofty and virtuous standards -- bleated mercilessly -- they should welcome criticism. Mostly I dislike all the double-speak, for example the kind (helpfully elucidated by you elsewhere on this site) that forces admissions to pretend to alumni that the legacy tip is a big benefit while telling the unwashed public that there's nothing to see. There's no Veritas in that. There's truth in data, and it should be told clearly on the admissions websites.

    I find it unfortunate that defenders of the status quo have to reach for arguments like "imposter syndrome" or spread tales of how gritty first-gen students are unsuited for the rigors of colleges. If these places are as good as they say, they can handle that kind of scenario.

    I submit that the HYPS college experience would not be harmed if legacy preferences were abolished. Legacies would still apply and get in, but only those who weren't so weak that they needed the tip. if the system could be unrigged, we'd learn how many.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,356 Senior Member
    Are you saying all these otherwise-"unqualified" legacies would be replaced by other hooked groups such as athletic recruits or URMs

    I'm saying in mega-competitive admissions, just about every person admitted comes with added value of some sort. Every college has a multitude of institutional goals and needs, some with higher priority than others. The schools with single-digit admissions have thousands of well-qualified candidates to select from -- and also dozens of different goals and needs to meet, and a whole variety of targets and sub-targets they are aiming for in admissions.

    I don't think any student gets admitted unless there is a clear answer to the question "what does this applicant bring that the others don't?". Now there may be a very small number of cases where the answer to that question may be, "this applicant is absolutely brilliant in a way that is head and shoulders above other students" ... but the vast majority of admitted students are getting in because their admission is ticking off one or more boxes on the institutional wish list.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,356 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    Holistic admissions is designed to cement the existing status quo.
    No, it is designed to meet the forward-looking goals of the institution, some or most of which might be to preserve existing status quo -- but some of which also is going to be looking toward the future. Because the institutions don't want to be left behind as the expectations of society evolve.

    Just as an example, the recent uptick in first-generation admissions represents a current trend - perhaps in part as a counter-balance to legacy admissions -- but it is a change-making goal, not a status-quo preserving goal.
  • TanbikoTanbiko Registered User Posts: 304 Member
    Based on my limited experience the majority of HYP legacies have additional hooks. They are athletes, URMs, children of VIPs and major donors. And some of them are good people.
    My immigrant daughter who attended on financial aid is forever grateful.
  • 1NJParent1NJParent Registered User Posts: 845 Member
    IMO, most donors will continue to donate regardless of legacy considerations. They want to associated with these schools. Otherwise, how do MIT and Caltech get their donations? And they're just as generous when it comes to financial aid.
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 556 Member
    Ivies were created to educate the kids of the rich and powerful. Their entire financial system is based on that. They have modified that a bit so that they educate the most academically capable of the kids of the rich and powerful, as well as a small number of kids who are poor, and some of the smartest of the smart of any income class. This helps their image, and creates a new set of alumni who will be even more grateful than the kid who grew up rich, and helps them increase the chance that the next billionaire inventor will be an alumnus of their college.

    They also compete in academics and in sports with the other Ivies, which is another reason to make sure to accept mostly really smart people, and it also ties into Athletes (see below).

    They do like diversity, but mostly because that is a good way to diversify their investments. They're smart people and see the demographic changes in the country. They also want to be out ahead of the newer generation of wealth and power (which is why the diversity is rarely in income). However, they still need to satisfy their older donors, who are mostly White, so they make it easier for White kids to enter - that is where Legacy and Athletes come in. The type of Athletes that they choose will continue to benefit the very richest Americans, while Legacy will do a bit better at tracking the newer generation of wealth.

    The admissions of a private university focus on what's good for the university, not on doing good for society, not on rewarding kids for being smart, hard working, and accomplished. Harvard admissions people care about Harvard, and the rest of the Ivies are no different. They do just enough for society to keep the public from hating them and from demanding that they lose their tax exemptions, and to allow them to feel like philanthropists.

  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 2,906 Senior Member
    I definitely detect a disdain for the Ivies.......
  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 Registered User Posts: 962 Member
    LadyMeow, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of the rest of the world, if not you, can’t handle the Veritas. Not if it means putting on admissions websites exactly why and how these schools admit the URMs and athletes they do, as well as the legacies and development cases.

    I’ve asked you this before, but just why, exactly, do you think these colleges owe you, or anyone else, any explanation for their admissions practices, provided they’re lawful? These are private institutions, and they admit who they like, in the service of what they see as their interests.

    If you really believe that there aren’t plenty, and I mean plenty, of cases of unprepared kids who got into these schools as a result of virtue-signaling by admissions and then couldn’t handle it, I think you should ask your daughter and her friends at peer schools if they’ve ever seen any such examples. Blame the schools if you like.

    I submit that you can have no idea what these schools would be like if legacy preference were abolished, and insufficient knowledge to enable you to state as confidently as you do that the HYPS experience wouldn’t be harmed. For my part (and speaking as someone who’s been closely involved for a long time with more than one of them), I’m quite sure that without the efforts of engaged alumni, over the last few centuries, they’d be unrecognizable.
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,710 Senior Member
    edited February 12
    Otherwise, how do MIT and Caltech get their donations? And they're just as generous when it comes to financial aid.
    Actually there are often huge difference in FA. In general MIT and Caltech tend to have less generous FA than HYPS, but there are plenty of exceptions for specific situations. Some example situations are below, from their respective net price calculators. Percentage claiming aid and average aid are often more similar, as the difference often more relates to the student body as whole being more wealthy at HYPS.

    $150k Income - $15k taxes, $250k savings, $250k in primary home
    Caltech -- $63k Cost to Parents
    MIT -- $37k Cost to Parents
    Harvard -- $17k Cost to Parents

    $65k Income - $5k taxes, $100k savings, Rent home
    Caltech -- $11k Cost to Parents
    MIT -- $8k Cost to Parents
    Harvard -- $0 Cost to Parents
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 2,059 Senior Member
    "favoring admitting students who display the desired cooperative and supporting other classmate traits, etc."

    I don't know how they would figure out the cooperative/competitive nature of kids from their high school apps. The kids that get into HYPSM and other selective colleges come from highly competitive high schools, with cheating (rampant in some), grade focus (such that rank has been eliminated in most). They may be supportive in college, but they were competitive in high school.
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