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 (2006)

If you hoped that admittance into US higher education is based on merit, think again. This book spends little time on public higher education, and its preference for affirmative action (which one can easily understand as racial preferences and discrimination) and other various social engineering approaches, but it exposes preferences of private collages towards "legacies" and children of donors (which in many cases happen to be the same, encouraging a caste system in the society). "Legacies" (children of graduates of a college) make up 40% of admissions for certain colleges, although the number seems to be "only" 10%+ for many of the Ivy league colleges, where many even on faculty seem to argue that this is to be the way of life ensuring financial future for their institutions (and just simply a way for a "subjective" selection process creating a "balanced" student population). The book is richly illustrating these briberies with actual real life examples. There are only three private institutions, which seem to be immune, offering admissions strictly based on merit, Caltech (less than 1% "legacies" admitted), Cooper Union in NYC and Berea College in Kentucky (this school basically requires the student to be poor to be eligible for admission, and requires students to work 10 hours a week for the school). But do not get desperate, even if you have not get the 1 million dollars plus to spend bribing an Ivy League institution for admission, you may only have to spend a few thousand or few ten thousands dollars to buy an admission into a second tier college. Or if all fails, start training your offsprings in screw, fencing, squash, golf, horse riding, skiing or polo, as these "white" upper-class sports also could be your ticket into the American Brahmin class. And no, studying harder is not your ticket to admission anymore.

No comments: