Elite bigotry in college admissions

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This analysis of college admissions practices reveals that colleges discriminate badly against students from rural communities, merely because they are from those communities. Key quote:

Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student’s chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. “Being an officer or winning awards” for such career-oriented activities as junior ROTC, 4-H, or Future Farmers of America, say Espenshade and Radford, “has a significantly negative association with admission outcomes at highly selective institutions.” Excelling in these activities “is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission.” [emphasis mine]

Amazing isn’t it? If you grow up in a rural American community in flyover country, do well as a teenager by participating responsibly as a leader in the kinds of after-school activities popular in rural communities, elite American colleges are going to hold that against you.

The article also describes bigotry against whites and asians (for racial reasons) as well as individuals with a military background. It is worthwhile reading the whole article.


One comment

  • Lawrence Stoskopf, M.D.

    Kansas is more enlightened. We have a rural track for those interested in practicing medicine in rural areas. Grow up in rural Kansas? Know what a bucket calf is? Up to the standard of the others accepted? You just might go to the head of the list! Yes, you probably haven’t volunteered in a soup kitchen or any of that city social stuff prized by selection committees. But you just might be willing to work whatever hours are needed for the community. You might be a leader as one of the best educated in the community. Your kids will grow up where everyone knows each other and probably have a more open mind than than those elite selection groups.

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