In a “Huffington Post Live” segment some months ago, the moderator said that Harvard isn’t really looking for kids from the working class. Instead, they’re looking for the children of the Bushes and the Kerrys, etc. If you watch the video below, you’ll note at the 13:30 mark, our Bev Taylor quips back that Harvard absolutely is looking for students from the working class. They are looking for students who will be the first in their families to attend college. They are looking for students who work at McDonald’s after school gets out to help their parents pay the bills. They are looking for students whose families have struggled financially.
Do schools like Harvard also admit the children of the Bushes, Kerrys, etc.? Absolutely! They certainly admit the children of celebrities and major donors. The children of major donors — in the world of highly selective college admissions — are flagged as development cases. But just because schools like Harvard and Yale admit the children of America’s elite doesn’t mean they aren’t intentionally also targeting the children of middle class America. Because they are indeed.
The number of first in their families to attend college in the incoming class — first generations as they’re called — is a statistic that all highly selective colleges keep. It’s a bragging point, a point of pride. So to anyone who thinks that Ivy League colleges don’t seek out the middle class, you couldn’t be more wrong. And that’s a very, very good thing for our country!