The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a huge case challenging the University of Texas’s affirmative action policy. Critics of race-based preferences in college admissions like UT’s say they short-change poor students.
Indeed, Jordan Weissman recently reported on the “rich kid problem” at America’s top colleges in The Atlantic. At America’s most selective schools, 70% of the students come from the wealthiest 25% of families, he noted.
Colleges that use race-based affirmative action rarely solve this problem because they largely favour black immigrants and biracial kids who come from wealthier families, law professor Kevin Brown has argued.
So, how do elite colleges make sure poor kids walk at graduation? The New York Times has an interesting article that proposes some solutions to the rich-kid issue:
- Colleges should stop “legacy admission,” which gives preferences to children of alumni, who tend to be white and wealthy.
- Top schools can also reach out to lower-income students as early as middle school to give them guidance on preparing for college. Studies show some poor kids never even apply to top schools because they don’t know they exist, The Times reported.
- Welcome transfer students who are often lower-income and start out at community college.
- Top state schools can also take the top students from every high school in the state to ensure an economically diverse student body.
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