White Privilege at Harvard

Many white students at Harvard are recruited athletes, legacies, development cases, and/or the children of Harvard faculty/staff, as Quartz reports.

Between the 2014 and 2019 college admissions cycles, 43% of white students admitted to Harvard University were either legacies, recruited athletes, development cases (as noted on the Dean’s Interest List), and/or the children of Harvard faculty/staff. It’s a statistic that isn’t the least bit surprising to us or likely to our loyal readers but we imagine it’s surprising to a number of new readers to our college admissions blog. And we imagine it’s surprising to the folks who write comments on our blog about how Affirmative Action makes it virtually impossible for a white, middle class student to earn admission to an elite university like Harvard these days. That assertion, of course, is utterly false and, yes, we too detect the undertone of racism every time it’s suggested.

White Students at Harvard Are Often Recruited Athletes, Legacies, and/or Development Cases

As reports Sarah Todd for Quartz in a piece entitled “A new statistic reveals the startling privilege of white kids admitted to Harvard,” “A new study notes that in the six admissions cycles between 2014 and 2019…no more than 16% of admitted students who were African-American, Asian-American, or Hispanic fell into one of those [aforementioned] favored categories. The study, by economists Peter Arcidiacono, Josh Kinsler, and Tyler Ransom, has not yet been submitted for publication or been peer-reviewed. But the statistics come from data made publicly available in the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) case.”

Are our readers surprised that such a high percentage of white students admitted to Harvard over the last several admissions cycles are either legacies, development cases, recruited athletes, the children of faculty/staff, or more than one of these items (e.g., legacy and development case)? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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