One of the chief purported objectives of this “Turning the Tide” report to be released by the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as of the Coalition for Access is to create parity in admissions between the privileged and the underprivileged. We don’t believe many would argue with this assertion. But we see lots of irony. In fact, we see so much irony that it’s hard to see anything else. Irony can be like beer goggles in this way. And, yes, that is the first reference to beer goggles on our college admissions blog. Whatever, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But the authors of this “Turning the Tide” report sure seem to!
One qualm we have is that if these authors (and endorsers — like presidents of highly selective universities and deans of admission) really wanted to put their money where their mouths are, these same universities would stop admitting the “entitled.” Whether they’re legacies, recruited athletes, the granddaughters of neighbors of trustees, or the children of world leaders, it’s these students who are taking slots away from the very underprivileged students “Turning the Tide” and the Coalition for Access hope to serve. You cannot — you cannot — have your cake and eat it too. As delicious as cake may be (especially cheesecake) and as hungry as you may be for cake.
But the fact is that highly selective colleges will never — not ever — stop admitting the entitled elite. And why? Because where do you think the campus library came from? Where will the next one come from? Where do you think the endowment of the football team came from? No college — not one — will ever jeopardize this, no matter what they may suggest to the media, and no matter what this “Turning the Tide” report might suggest. Any suggestion to the contrary is, quite frankly, naive.