5 Myths About College Admissions
Richard D. Kahlenberg, Washington Post, May 23, 2010
This spring, more than 3 million students will graduate from America’s high schools, and more than 2 million of them will head off to college in the fall. At the top colleges, competition has been increasingly fierce, leaving many high school seniors licking their wounds and wondering what they did “wrong.” But do selective colleges and universities do a good job of identifying the best and brightest? And is the concern about who gets into the best colleges justified?
1. Admissions officers have figured out how to reward merit above wealth and connections.
A 2004 Century Foundation study found that at the most selective universities and colleges, 74 percent of students come from the richest quarter of the population, while just 3 percent come from the bottom quarter. Rich kids can’t possibly be 25 times as likely to be smart as poor kids, so wealth and connections must still matter. (Read the full article)