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View Diary: Postcard from Muskegon, MI (277 comments)

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  •  I Went to U of M-Dearborn, the Maize and Blue... (12+ / 0-)

    ...collar U of Michigan.  I only had one teaching assistant my entire time there, a sociology grad student from Ann Arbor.  This was around 1990, and he told our class that the sociology department had done a survey of freshmen and determined that the average family income of freshmen--remember, this was almost 20 years ago--was about $80,000 per year.  Thus, even though U of M is one of the world's great public universities and for in-state students it's a tremendous value, the students there are not representative of the great swath of the middle class.

    As you probably know, one of the populations that the affirmative action policies that Michigan fought for all the way to the SCOTUS was rural Michiganders, especially from the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula.  It's not only racial segregation that can be mitigated by affirmative action, and I'm proud that the flagship university of my homestate recognized the problems of regional and economic inequalities and tried to do something about it.  

    "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

    by Dana Houle on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:29:17 PM PST

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    •  Indeed (6+ / 0-)

      Thus, even though U of M is one of the world's great public universities and for in-state students it's a tremendous value, the students there are not representative of the great swath of the middle class.

      And this is part of the reason U-M Ann Arbor has an elitist reputation in the state, although it's not fully deserved, because as you rightly point out, U-M tried to do something about that.

      I loved U-M and always will, but I do remember getting a bit of a shock when I saw the affluence of so many of the students who went there.  Our family certainly wasn't poor; we were a working-class family who earned the equivalent of a lower-middle class income because of the evil union jobs that apparently ruined everything by making it harder to cut everyone's wage to the bone.  But I digress.

      It was really eye-opening to see the socioeconomic disparities between many of the students at U-M, and in turn, see the disparities between the student body on average and the people I knew outside of the university.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:46:07 PM PST

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      •  Most of My Friends From U of M-Dearborn... (5+ / 0-)

        ...were the first in their family to go to college.  Most of my friends at U of M-Ann Arbor were surrounded by people from relatively affluent families, especially if they were out-of-state students.

        I'm ambivalent about those out-of-state students, however; if their parents want to spend that much money to attend U of M, thus lowering the tuition and fees for Michiganders, that was a good thing.  

        "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

        by Dana Houle on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:51:37 PM PST

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      •  Same here (7+ / 0-)

        My ex-girlfriend (from NJ) spoke about the family gardener as though it was the norm.  As though every family has a gardener, like every family ought to have a fridge and a TV.  Needless to say, I was a bit shocked.

        Me, I'll keep wearing my Carhartt.

        Солидарность!

        by Fedallah on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:56:21 PM PST

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