Thursday, January 3, 2008

Poor kids have it easy

The cat's out of the bag, folks. Poor kids have the life and coast right into selective schools, according to a new book, reported on here in the Wall Street Journal:
Take this passage from Michele Hernández's "Acing the College Application," where she assesses the chances of a high-school student getting into a college of his choice. "Best case: Neither of your parents attended college at all, your father is a factory worker, and your mom is on disability. . . . Worst case: Your father went to Yale as an undergraduate and then Harvard Business School and is now an investment banker and your mom went to Brown, holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and works as a research chemist."

We all understand that being a rich white kid puts one at a disadvantage in the college-admissions process. But it is worth pausing to savor the irony of an institution that charges as much as $45,000 a year asking its applicants to demonstrate their proletarian credentials.

Is she for real? Kids from the top socioeconomic quartile are 25 times more likely to attend a selective college than those in the bottom quartile (see Century Foundation study here). Don't worry, though - for $26,000 - 40,000, Michele Hernandez will help you cope with the burden of being rich .


EduDiva said...

When I started talking back to the computer, I thought I better write a post instead. Here's the FYI that I responded to your post.

It's not just the $45,000 per year (yikes!). It's the Kumon, the tutors, the squash, the trip to Russia etc.

Ms. Miller said...

Hernandez' first book "A is for Admission" (1998) is similarly delightful --

Jane said...

I'm especially (sadly) amused by her recommendation that young people raised by factory worker fathers also master both Greek and Latin while becoming violin virtuosos. I'm pretty sure that there weren't any violins within a 30 mile radius of my working-class hometown and the only Latin was, perhaps, inscribed over the doorway of the WPA-built city hall.

NYC Educator said...

Thank goodness for people like Miss Hernandez who will stand up for all those oppressed rich people.

Suburban White Guy said...

Michelle Hernandez, worked in Dartmouth's admission office, swiped a bunch of files and wrote a book entitled "A is for Admission." Now she needs a new book, apparently, to juice up her highly lucrative college admission business. She does not seem to touch on development office cases. If you want to find out how much it costs to buy your way into the Ivy League, you should get ahold of The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges--and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates by Daniel Golden.
Hint -- those left outside the gates are the "unhooked" relatively smart kids, many are white and many are Asian.