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View Diary: “Yale College seeks smart students from poor families. They’re out there—but hard to find.” (122 comments)

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  •  Magic? (0+ / 0-)

    Or do these evil 'legacy' kids have parents fanatically committed to education, as my parents were, no matter their economic status? You can see conspiracy wherever you want to, Adam. But the greater truth is that children of well educated parents are born with distinct sociological advantages that have NOTHING to do with their 'legacy' status at a particular school.

    Admissions statistics get rather silly at a certain point. In my day, students applied--at most--to 6-8 schools. Kids apply to 25 these days. So of course the Ivies are receiving BOATLOADS of massively unqualified applicants who for some reason--panic? delusion?--have thrown them into their mix of 25. The colleges collect the application fee, reject the unqualified applicant in two seconds, and drive up their sexy 'selectivity' number. Likely guess: The evil 'legacy' applicants tend to come from a more routine pool of applicants, where 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 makes more sense.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:14:19 AM PST

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    •  Obviously, there's truth in that first paragraph. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But there's advantages and then there's advantages, and the econometric research confirms that being a legacy still  is like having 160 more points on one's SAT. (Also, admitting legacies helps your yield statistics; they're more likely to say yes.)

      And I'll certainly agree that admissions rates have gone down as applications have risen.

      •  Correlation or causality? (0+ / 0-)

        I hate arguing with you, Adam, 'cause you're a lawyer, so you can always run circles around me. So why don't I just say that you win. Even though it perpetuates the awful stereotype--drunk, rich, unqualified frat boys like GWBush are gonna get in over deserving poor kids from Compton & Appalachia--that prevents JUST the kind of kids you and I want applying to Yale and Amherst. Ignorant stereotypes willingly swallowed and trumpeted right here at dKos.

        Have an awesome day, Adam. Love you; hate hate hate lawyers.

        Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

        by earicicle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:33:06 AM PST

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        •  The data speaks for itself (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          earicicle, elfling, VClib, dukelawguy

          And I still like you too:

          A researcher at Harvard University recently examined the impact of legacy status at 30 highly selective colleges and concluded that, all other things being equal, legacy applicants got a 23.3-percentage-point increase in their probability of admission. If the applicants' connection was a parent who attended the college as an undergraduate, a "primary legacy," the increase was 45.1-percentage points.

          In other words, if a nonlegacy applicant faced a 15-percent chance of admission, an identical applicant who was a primary legacy would have a 60-percent chance of getting in.

          The new study is sure to add fuel to the debate over the role of legacy admissions, particularly in determining who gets into the country's most-sought-after colleges. And it sheds light on advantages that colleges themselves may not have even been fully aware of. The author, Michael Hurwitz, controlled for a broader range of variables, such as student character and high-school activities, than had traditional analyses. In doing so, he found that the other, more-common method underestimates the advantage for legacies....

          Mr. Hurwitz's research found that legacy students, on average, had slightly higher SAT scores than nonlegacies. But he was able to control for that factor, as well as athlete status, gender, race, and many less-quantifiable characteristics. He also controlled for differences in the selectivity of the colleges.

          He was able to do so by focusing on the large number of high-school students (47 percent) who submitted applications to more than one of the colleges in the sample. A given applicant's characteristics, like the wealth of their family or strength of their high school, wouldn't vary from college to college. But their legacy status would, and so too might their admissions outcomes.

          •  Giving legacy preferences is essential to getting (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, dukelawguy

            many alumni to donate to the school.  

            In addition, competitive schools want their statistics at US News and other places to look good in terms of people being offered admission accepting (known as yield).  The expectation is that those operating under legacy are more likely to accept when offered admission.

            Offering admissions advantages to legacies is very rational behavior by the schools.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:00:34 AM PST

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            •  Many of us donate, or help raise funds from (0+ / 0-)

              fellow alums, because we are incredibly grateful for the financial aid we received that allowed us to attend. Period.

              Yale could give two shits about the USNews stats. Which is why Yale rarely tops the USNews stats.

              Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

              by earicicle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:03:30 AM PST

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              •  Actually Yale does care about school rankings (1+ / 0-)
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                the top schools are highly competitive with each other for rankings in most everything.

                The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                by nextstep on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:35:12 AM PST

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                •  Evidence? (0+ / 0-)

                  Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                  by earicicle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:46:15 AM PST

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                  •  I talk with former President of Yale, Levin (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    socially from time to time,  as well as the heads of other top universities.  I met with the Pres of another top university (not an Ivy) last night.  Top university heads are as competitive and driven as investment bankers on Wall Street.

                    Not the type of evidence I can provide with a web link.  I will not be offended if you don't take that as proof, as I know this first hand, whereas I am only providing you with anonymous hearsay.

                    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                    by nextstep on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:13:51 PM PST

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                    •  Legacy Admission (0+ / 0-)

                      My constitutional law professor told our entire class during an affirmative action discussion that the "plus' give to legacies at Duke was weighted exactly equally to the "plus" given to someone from a disadvatanged background.  Now that was many years ago, and it is also hearsay, but I have no reason to believe that it was a lie or that things have changed.

            •  Of course there are reasons for it. (0+ / 0-)

              Let's just acknowledge the preference is real and meaningful, and tends to cut against the groups for whom we push for preferential admissions standards.

              •  I suspect the legacy policy works more (1+ / 0-)
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                against white middle class students than students from lower income families - as their share of incoming classes has a large variance with the US population.

                The alumni giving, endowment returns and charging full tuition to higher income students allows highly competitive private schools to offer a free education to exceptional students from low income families.  

                The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                by nextstep on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:43:01 AM PST

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          •  Whew... (0+ / 0-)

            So since my parents were merely grad students who got lowly PhD's, I guess I just got in on my merit, good looks & charm.

            Of course, the researcher is from Hahvahd, so I don't trust a damn thing he says. What a shithole of a school.

            Statistics can be manipulated any which way. How can you truly 'control' for all the factors he lists? Bottom line: If your parents have had a fantastic education, chances are they prioritize education in your life. I grew up surrounded by books. I remember sitting on my mom's lap as she read manuscripts in Cyrillic on a microfilm reader, researching her PhD thesis. It took her awhile to finish, while she worked fulltime & popped out three babies. I remember attending her graduation ceremony on the Old Campus, 15 years before mine.

            Her mom--my gran--left school in rural Ireland at age 9, to raise her 7 siblings after her mother died in childbirth.  She came to the US w/$25 in her pocket to cook for rich Boston families. She made sure that her daughter got an education. THAT is my family legacy.

            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

            by earicicle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:01:26 AM PST

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            •  Easiest way to control? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              See if the same Yale legatee gets into Harvard and Princeton, and vice versa.

              •  asdf... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adam B, VClib

                I got into all the other Ivies where I applied. Which, of course, did not include that inferior school in Cambridge. Princeton was my second choice.

                Ironically, Yale was the first school crossed off my list when I first started thinking about college. I was such a rebel without a clue--so oppositional defiant--that I didn't want anything to do with a school I associated w/my parents. Living 5000 miles away, we didn't have the $$ to do any college visits. But admissions officers from around the country came to my school. And I asked a lot of questions, especially of the older kids who went to all the different East Coast schools.

                I chose Yale b/c of the residential college system. It seemed like a good fit for a Hawaiian kid who wanted to experience a big cultural change, and a large-ish school, but stay rooted in a connected social environment.

                It was fucking perfect. So excuse me for being a little defensive. I was a naive, middle class girl from suburban Honolulu, and I had a damn good time. The LAST factor--the ANTI-factor--in my decision to go there was being a 'legacy' admit. The fact that I graduated top of my class at one of the top private schools in the country probably had more to do with it. You know...that Honolulu school where me and the POTUS were both scholarship students.

                Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                by earicicle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:45:10 AM PST

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          •  Another reason for that may be (0+ / 0-)

            that people who have a direct connection to a particular school are going to be more in tune with what that particular school values.

            That's a very interesting study. It would be interesting to repeat the methodology with a similarly selective university that has no legacy admissions, like Caltech or UC Berkeley.

            Another interesting comparison would be whether those students who were legacy admitted were more likely to be admitted to their legacy school versus other highly selective universities they applied to. How much advantage is just intrinsic in having parents who went to ANY elite school?

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 01:26:35 PM PST

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          •  Neither of my parents went to college (0+ / 0-)

            and my children went to different colleges and graduate schools that I did. However, I have no issues at all with legacy admissions. The Ivy League schools, or any other private university, can admit all the legacies they desire. That's their choice as long as they don't discriminate as defined by our civil rights laws. I know that for many elite private colleges alumni giving and legacy admissions are often connected.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:57:08 PM PST

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