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At the very most selective colleges, low-income students were even more of an endangered species; at Yale, for example, Chetty found that just 2. The world Chetty described was the world they had been living in for years. Trinity may have been less selective than those Ivy-plus institutions, and it had a smaller endowment, but it was no less dominated by affluent students.

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That was the single highest concentration of ultrarich students to be found at any college among the 2, institutions that Chetty and his colleagues examined. Over the last decade, two distinct conversations about college admissions and class have been taking place in the United States. The first one has been conducted in public, at College Board summits and White House conferences and meetings of philanthropists and nonprofit leaders.

The premise of this conversation is that inequity in higher education is mostly a demand-side problem: Poor kids are making regrettable miscalculations as they apply to college. Selective colleges would love to admit more low-income students — if only they could find enough highly qualified ones who could meet their academic standards. This conversation, held more often in private, starts from the premise that the biggest barriers to opportunity for low-income students in higher education are on the supply side — in the universities themselves, and specifically in the admissions office.

Enrollment managers know there is no shortage of deserving low-income students applying to good colleges. Harvard and Princeton and Stanford have such enormous endowments and such dependable alumni donors that they are able to spend lavishly to educate their students, with only a small percentage of those funds coming from the students themselves. But most private colleges, including Trinity, operate on a model that depends heavily on tuition for their financial survival. The public and private are inevitably in conflict, and the place on each campus where that conflict plays out is the admissions office.

So the academic quality of our student body was dropping. But you did the test prep, and you learned how to play the SAT game. Hidden away among the wealthy masses on the Trinity campus was a small cohort of low-income students. The pool of affluent year-old Americans was shrinking, especially in the Northeast, and the ones who remained had come to understand that they had significant bargaining power when it came to negotiating tuition discounts with the colleges that wanted to admit them.

As a result, paradoxically, Trinity was going broke educating an unusually wealthy student body. In the fall of , he recommended to the president and the board of trustees that Trinity abandon its previous approach to admissions and move in more or less the opposite direction.

Which students you accept and which ones you reject this year will help determine who will apply to your college next year. The list rewards colleges for admitting students with high SAT scores; the more high-scoring students you admit, the better U. News likes you.

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The U. News rankings. They know that American high school students and their families take them very seriously.

Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite, with a New Chapter (Revised)

Research on national universities has demonstrated , using data analysis, what enrollment managers know in their bones: If you rise even one place on the U. And if you fall even one place on the list Jon Boeckenstedt, who spent 17 years helping run the enrollment department at DePaul University in Chicago before moving west this summer to take a similar position at Oregon State, has traced this effect from inside the profession.

Boeckenstedt, who is in his early 60s, was a first-generation college student himself, the son of a manual laborer from Dubuque, Iowa.

He maintains two lively blogs about the practice of college admissions, and in recent years he has used them as a platform to advocate for more clarity, honesty and fairness in the field of enrollment management — or as he sometimes calls it, the admissions-industrial complex.

In his writing, Boeckenstedt explains the connections between the everyday pressures enrollment managers like him experience in their jobs and the stark socioeconomic stratification that now pervades higher education. For one recent post on his blog Higher Ed Data Stories, he created a detailed multicolored chart that compared admissions data from more than 1, colleges and sorted those colleges according to three cross-referenced variables: their mean freshman SAT score, the percentage of their freshmen who receive federal Pell grants and the percentage of their students who are black or Latino.

The resulting graphic demonstrates, in a vivid way, what might be called the iron law of college admissions: The colleges with high average SAT scores — which are also the highest-ranked colleges and the ones with the lowest acceptance rates and the largest endowments — admit very few low-income students and very few black and Latino students. With only a few exceptions, every American college follows the same pattern.

There is a popular and persistent image of college admissions in which diversity-obsessed universities are using affirmative action to deny spaces to academically talented affluent students while admitting low-income students with lower ability in their place. Boeckenstedt says the opposite is closer to the truth.

News ranking. They are challenging for the faculty, but they bring in a lot of revenue. Boeckenstedt says that there are two structural factors that make life difficult for enrollment managers who want to admit more low-income students. The first factor is the simple need for tuition revenue. Unless colleges can reduce their costs, it is going to be difficult for them to resist the lure of wealthy students who can pay full price.

And there are several perverse incentives in the marketplace that make it hard for colleges to cut costs. The most basic one is that the U. News algorithm rewards them for spending a lot of money: Higher faculty salaries and more spending on student services lead directly to better rankings.

If you reduce your expenses, your ranking will fall, which means that next year your applicant pool will probably shrink. So instead you keep your spending high, which means you need a lot of tuition revenue, which means you need to keep admitting lots of rich kids.

The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite

Things are different among the wealthiest colleges. Boeckenstedt points out a fact that is somehow simultaneously totally obvious and yet still kind of dumbfounding: Some of the most selective colleges have so much money that they could easily admit freshman classes made up entirely of academically excellent Pell-eligible students and charge them nothing at all. The cost in lost tuition would amount to a rounding error in their annual budgets. But not only do those and other selective colleges not take that step; they generally do the opposite, year after year.

As a group, they admit fewer Pell-eligible students than almost any other institutions. Colleges like DePaul, with much smaller endowments, somehow manage to find the money to admit and give aid to twice as many low-income students, proportionally, as elite colleges do. It also depends on admitting a lot of rich ones. And he has a point: The researchers Nicholas A.

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UCLA, which attracts more than , applications a year, prohibited donations from influencing admissions years ago. March 13, Teresa Watanabe.

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Since joining the Times in , she has covered immigration, ethnic communities, religion, Pacific Rim business and served as Tokyo correspondent and bureau chief. Andrew Khouri. More From the Los Angeles Times. Driver in Utah bus crash that killed 4 Chinese nationals was on first run for Monterey Park company. The person Freightliner bus operated by America Shengjia Inc.

Harvard Trial Is About More Than Affirmative Action - The Atlantic

E-2 visas force migrant kids of foreign investors to leave U. Options to stay are few. Visas such as the E-2 allow children to come with their parents to the United States, but they can only stay until they are Harvard, for example, a few years ago launched an online-education portal allowing any member of the public to access and take its courses. Some, most notably Yale , have recently increased the sizes of their freshman classes; Princeton has major plans to expand its undergraduate body, too. And perhaps the lawsuit against Harvard, whatever its merits, could help start to dispel the illusion that whether one gets into an elite college or not is any reflection of a student's worth or future prospects.

In the meantime, the students who do win the elite-college admission lottery often find themselves stuck on the hamster wheel of achievement. Physical-education programs were designed to encourage health and fitness, but they may be counterproductive. The president of the United States reportedly sought the help of a foreign government against an American citizen who might challenge him for his office.

This is the single most important revelation in a scoop by The Wall Street Journal , and if it is true, then President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office immediately. Until now, there was room for reasonable disagreement over impeachment as both a matter of politics and a matter of tactics. The Mueller report revealed despicably unpatriotic behavior by Trump and his minions, but it did not trigger a political judgment with a majority of Americans that it warranted impeachment. The Democrats, for their part, remained unwilling to risk their new majority in Congress on a move destined to fail in a Republican-controlled Senate. It refers to the mismatch between a long-standing procedural instinct of the press and the current realities of the Era of Trump.