right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

“These aren’t just elite institutions, they’re elitist institutions”

«13456733

Replies to: “These aren’t just elite institutions, they’re elitist institutions”

  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3061 replies39 threads Senior Member
    The point, @lookingforward, is that it does not matter at all whether the Dell scion is competent- no one at USC or Blackstone is concerned about his transcript, and he and many others like him will continue to have unfettered access to the best schools and jobs in perpetuity, as will their children. In a time of diminished economic opportunity, that can be problematic.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34480 replies382 threads Senior Member
    These debates too often just have posters sticking to their sides.

    There are many assumptions in the article, for me. And none of wealthy privilege, in general, is new to me. It's gone on for generations.

    But remember, the top colleges are working hard to offer opportunities more broadly. More so, perhaps, than Blackstone or some law firm. That's what matters more, to me.
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3061 replies39 threads Senior Member
    The difference is that Blackstone, like law firms, is a for-profit venture that does not receive public funds nor pretend to aspire to some higher mission in society other than making money.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34480 replies382 threads Senior Member
    Let's not turn this further into those big bad colleges and federal funding.
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3061 replies39 threads Senior Member
    No problem, I think we can all agree that plenty of dumb rich kids end up in our top colleges as the elite makes sure their kids don't fall too far, which was the thesis of the article.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1448 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Upward mobility? Where? Other than in tech? The reason tech still offers upward mobility is because it still operates as a meritocracy. Other than Caltech and MIT, the other elite colleges don't operate as meritocracies either.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78559 replies695 threads Senior Member
    edited October 14
    1NJParent wrote: »
    Upward mobility? Where? Other than in tech? The reason tech still offers upward mobility is because it still operates as a meritocracy. Other than Caltech and MIT, the other elite colleges don't operate as meritocracies either.

    The page linked in post #0 refers to the paper at https://opportunityinsights.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/abs_mobility_paper.pdf which says that "The decline in absolute mobility is especially steep–from 95% in the 1940 cohort to 41% in the 1984 cohort –when we compare the individual earnings of sons to their fathers."

    In other words, almost all of the men born in 1940 ended up with upward mobility. But fewer than half of men born in 1984 ended up with upward mobility.

    The paper then says that 29% of the decline in upward mobility is due to lower economic growth, and 71% of the decline in upward mobility is due to increasing inequality.

    When most of the population is looking at downward mobility with only a few gaining upward mobility, it is not surprising that competition for upward mobility positions (in colleges and/or jobs) becomes much more intense, and political opinions become more hostile because others are seen as a source of competition or threat or "unfair advantage" who "need to be excluded".

    Regarding meritocracy, it is also not surprising that wealthy parents will deploy money to give their kids an advantage in earning actual merit, or scoring high on whatever measures of merit are used to offer meritocratic opportunity. Yes, in some areas, the kids still have to earn their merit, but those from wealthy parents at least have fewer additional barriers to jump that could block others who could have been equally meritous.
    edited October 14
    · Reply · Share
  • RiversiderRiversider 866 replies103 threads Member
    edited October 14
    It’s wrong, un-ethical and shameful. Yes, they accept some poor URMs to look good and justify federal funds and tax status but they actively discriminate against Asian-Americans and suburban public school graduates. They use to discriminate against Jews not so long ago. They keep high COA to limit number of middle class students. With such high endowments, they can make these colleges affordable for everyone who can secure an admission, instead of squeezing middle class dry.
    edited October 14
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1448 replies35 threads Senior Member
    I certainly agree that upward mobility has been decreasing in the last 30+ years, perhaps even longer. That has contributed to increasing inequity in societies (it isn't a US-only phenomenon either). The lack of mobility has also made these societies more stagnant and less dynamic, reducing opportunities for the middle class.

    The rich would still enjoy an advantage in a meritocracy, but that advantage is much smaller and has to be ultimately "earned". What's the alternative to meritocracy that's fairer and more impartial to, but still incentivizes all those involved?
    · Reply · Share
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1447 replies20 threads Senior Member
    I don’t have the data to back it up, but I think throughout human history, the 1940 cohort would be the outlier. What did SES mobility look like in the 900’s?
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 10823 replies77 threads Senior Member
    I thought that it was interesting that this article actually did not focus so much on the top tier, like Ivies, but more on the next level, including LAC's and state universities. The financial aid offered at some elite schools is, over the years, having some effect, though the families who cannot get need-based aid but have trouble paying, are still left out. Ditto some of the pipeline high school programs that prep disadvantaged kids.

    The men I know who come from backgrounds that might be considered connected or "elite" continue to do well in life. However, the women don't seem to benefit in the same way. That is anecdotal of course but I wonder...the article mentions boys and fathers a lot :)

    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3061 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Few people alive today remember the early 1900s. Many baby boomers remember the post WW2 era and the more vibrant middle class it beheld
    · Reply · Share
  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1517 replies30 threads Senior Member
    No problem, I think we can all agree that plenty of dumb rich kids end up in our top colleges

    I think you are assuming they are dumb? They still have A- averages and are top 95th+ percentile of all standardized test takers. If these kids are “dumb” what does that say about the kids with lesser scores and grades?

    Elite colleges are much more diverse today than they were even 50+ years ago. IMO some progress has been made.

    By the way, I know many family owned small to medium sized businesses where the kids went off to college and once they graduate come back to work in the family business. It happens at all levels of economy and is a life line not just for the extremely wealthy.
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3061 replies39 threads Senior Member
    edited October 14
    Not assuming they are dumb, just that their intelligence is irrelevant to their admission. Perhaps young Mr. Dell is brilliant. Perhaps not. For him, it truly does not matter to US colleges.
    edited October 14
    · Reply · Share
  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1517 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Not assuming they are dumb, just that their intelligence is irrelevant to their admission. Perhaps young Mr. Dell is brilliant. Perhaps not. For him, it truly does not matter to US colleges.

    No, you said there are dumb students at elite colleges and I would argue that they are not “dumb”. The vast, vast majority of students at elite colleges are in the top decile, no matter their background, which doesn’t make them dumb by any means.
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3061 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Not to quibble, but as the elite college discussed in the article (USC), a quarter of the students have SAT reading scores below 630 ( which at the 78th percentile is fine, but far from your supposition).
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity