January 14, 2013

More on America's overlooked smart kids

Here's an awesome research paper on America's overlooked smart kids:
THE MISSING "ONE-OFFS":THE HIDDEN SUPPLY OF HIGH-ACHIEVING, LOW INCOME STUDENTS 
Caroline M. Hoxby - Stanford 
Christopher Avery - Harvard

Among kids with good test scores and grades, who grabs for the brass ring of elite colleges and who doesn't bother?

First, Hoxby and Avery look at kids who scored in the 90th percentile or higher on the SAT or ACT and had at least an A- average in high school. (I'm even more interested in the kids with even higher test scores but who don't have A- averages, but they want to look at kids with plausible numbers for getting into swanky colleges.)

75.8 percent of high achievers say that they are white non-Hispanic and another 15.0 percent say that they are Asian. The remaining 9.2 percent of high achievers are associated with an underrepresented minority. They are Hispanic (4.7 percent), black non-Hispanic (1.5 percent), Native American (0.4 percent), or mixed race/ethnicity (2.6 percent). 

Then they try to estimate family income. Many high school students don't really know their family income, so the economists made some guesses based on where they live and other factors. 


I'm not sure if they do a great job of this because the correlation between being a high achiever and high income is fairly moderate. For example, 17% of the high achievers come from the bottom 25% of estimated family income. 


The correlation with parents' education is much higher. Among high achievers, 51% have a parent with a graduate degree, while it looks like about 82% are children of bachelor degree holders.


Then they grouped the high achieving kids from the lowest 25% of estimated income into those whose college application behavior is "Achievement Typical" (i.e., ambitious -- Ivy League here I come!) or "Income Typical" (unambitious -- I don't know, maybe I'll join the Army and then go to State). 


The authors don't use the terms ambitious and unambitious but I'm going to use those words. What the researchers call "Achievement Typical" is applying to colleges more like other kids with the same test scores and grades. I call it Ambitious. (E.g., Wesleyan has a pipeline to Hollywood, so I may go Early Decision there.) What the researchers call "Income Typical", I'll call Unambitious (E.g., Everybody at school who isn't a total meathead usually goes to the JC for a year or two, so I guess I'll do that, but my cousin graduated from Southeastern, so maybe I'll apply there, too.) The great majority of poor kids with high achievement follow either an unambitious path in applying to college or simply an odd one (e.g., Harvard or the local JuCo).


If I'm reading Hoxby's Table 7 correctly, among low income but high achieving Asians, the ratio of ambitious "Achievement Typical" college applicants to unambitious "Income Typical" kids relative to all high achievement / low income kids is about four to one (31.8% of ambitious Achievement Typical low income high achievers are Asians compared to only 7.3% of unambitious Income Typical low income high achievers). In other words, the Tiger Mother myth ain't a myth, even at the bottom of the income level for Asians.


Among Hispanics who are high achievers and low income, the relative ratio of ambitious to unambitious among low income high achievers is a little over two to one (12.6% to 6.0%). For blacks, the relative ratio of ambitious to unambitious is a little under two to one (5.2% to 2.9%).


But, low income high achievers, the ratio of ambitious to unambitious is much lower for whites than for minorities: 45.1% of the ambitious smart but poor kids are white, while 79.5% of the unambitious smart but poor kids are white. By these ratios, smart but poor Asians are about seven times more ambitious in their college application behavior than smart but poor white kids, with Hispanics and blacks several times more ambitious.


A reader emails:

- For every low-income, high-performing white kid who applies to college like a smart kid, there are 11.7 who apply like poor kids.  
- For every low-income, high-performing black kid who applies to college like a smart kid, there are 3.7 who apply like poor kids. 
- For every low-income, high-performing Hispanic kid who applies to college like a smart kid, there are 3.2 who apply like poor kids.  
- For every low-income, high-performing Asian kid who applies to college like a smart kid, there are 1.5 who apply like poor kids.  
 So, for every group, there are more low-income high-performing kids who are acting like poor kids than like smart kids - but as you can see, there's enormous variance.

More good stuff from Hoxby:
What the map demonstrates is that critical masses of high-achieving students are most likely to be found in urban counties in southern New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island), the Mid-Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania), southern Florida, and coastal California from the Bay Area to San Diego.  
The other critical masses are more scattered, but a person familiar with U.S. geography can pick out Chicago (especially), Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, and some smaller cities. In short, if one's goal were to visit every county where one could gather at least 100 high achievers, one could concentrate entirely on a limited number of cities on the east and west coasts and a few cities in between.  
Some part of the above statement is due to the fact that high-income, highly educated parents are somewhat concentrated in the aforementioned areas and such parents, we have seen, are more likely to have high-achieving children. 
However, some part of the above statement is due purely to population density. That is, even if children in all counties of the U.S. were equally likely to be high-achieving, there would still be critical masses of them in densely populated counties and vice versa. The choropleth map in Figure 7 illustrates the role of population density by showing the number of high-achieving students per 17 year old in each county. The darker a county is, the higher is its decile on this relative measure. The map makes it clear that this relative measure is far less concentrated than the absolute measure that favors dense counties. In fact, there is a belt of  counties that tend to produce high achievers that runs from Minnesota and the Dakotas south through Missouri and Kansas. There are also a good number of Appalachian, Indiana, and non-coastal California but still Western counties that tend to produce high achievers. In short, if one's goal were to meet a representative sample of high achievers, one's trip could not be concentrated on a limited number of counties on the Coasts and a few cities in-between. ...

However, achievement-typical students' block groups are less white, and more black, Hispanic, and Asian that those of income-typical students. Achievement- typical students also have more baccalaureate degree holders in their block groups--both in absolute number (207 versus 144) and as a share of adults (22.0 percent versus 16.8 percent). This last fact suggests that income-typical students may be less likely to get advice about college from a neighbor with a degree. 
Table 9 compares the geography of income-typical and achievement-typical students, and the contrast is striking. 65 percent of achievement-typical students live in the main city of an urban area, whereas only 30 percent of income-typical students do. Even within the main city residents, achievement-typical students are much more likely to live in a large urban area (one with population greater than 250,000). Indeed, 70 percent of the achievement-typical students come from just fifteen urban areas: San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Portland, Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Only 21 percent of achievement-typical students live in a non-urban area (not necessarily rural, but a town rather than an urban area suburb). 47 percent of income-typical students live in a non-urban area. Put another way, income-typical students tend to be the high-achievers who live in counties that had a large number of high-achievers per 17-year-old (Figure 7) but not a large number of achievers in absolute terms (Figure 6). 
... The radius needed to gather 50 high-achievers is 37.3 miles for the average income-typical student, where as it is merely 12.2 miles for the average achievement-typical student. 

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was right people in Orange County and Riverside are not much into being high achieivng unless they are from Wealthy Cities like Newport Beach or Eastvale or in a city with more Asians. The funny thing is whites in the OC don't have any lower income than San Diego. People in Orange County and Riverside are more interested in making by selling homes on commission.

Anonymous said...

White people need to have more kids and buy more guns.

Whiskey said...

A few things: first the internet ought to make actual travel mostly irrelevant, e-mail, skype, web-conferencing ought to be able to pull in a much larger group of smart kids if that was the aim, the way online video of athletes from say, the areas around Boise or Casper WY have made recruiting more competitive (you can Moneyball recruits via stats AND VIDEO and not depend on relationships with a few feeder schools in Miami and LA anymore).

But getting smart kids is not the aim. Getting CONNECTED or would-be CONNECTED kids is the aim.

Second, smart White kids will know the game, the connections are everything, and the ambition is likely relevant to the likelihood of connections being useful. Which for smart poor White kids is about zero. Whereas for smart poor Mexican or Black kids, is large, because as AA props to plug into patronage networks, realistically non-White smart kids have far more value and will get far more financial aid and admissions than the equivalent White kids.

It is similar to Murray being impressed by Harvard and Yale's high SAT/ACT scores, not realizing that they are as subject to manipulation as financial statements (Enron, Sinoforest, Lehman, all had duly certified audits). For Harvard and Yale admit a few sky-high Asian scorers to jack the numbers up and play games to exclude low-scorers such as AA and legacy admits.

Rev. Right said...

"the ratio of ambitious to unambitious is much lower for whites than for minorities"

It's not just a question of ambition, but of expectations. White kids from not-rich families assume (with some justification) that they are just not all that wanted in elite institutions, and that they are not going to get enough in the way of scholarships to afford such an education.

The view of most middle and working class white families is that, absent their child exhibiting some newsworthy level of genius in high school, the Ivy League is for rich kids from elite private schools or NAMs there by virtue of affirmative action. Therefore reaching for that brass ring is not even considered. It's not for them.

TH said...

This confirms Steve's old theory that untapped talent in America is overwhelmingly to be found among rural and small-town whites, not any minority communities. Of course, elite colleges, despite their meritocratic pretensions, are not interested in seeking out such talent.

This also suggests that the reason for Unz's finding of Jewish overrepresentation at top schools may be largely due to the fact that relatively few high-achieving gentiles apply to such schools.

AllanF said...

Gee, it's like smart white kids have gotten the affirmative-action, anti-red state memo.

How'd they do that? Who couldda' knowed?

AllanF said...

And along the lines of smart white kids getting the memo, anyone surprised fresh-off-the-boat asian parents not getting the memo?

Who couldda' knowed!?

Anonymous said...

A shoutout to our Steve by Charles Murray on Steve's Q&A on IQ at Vdare.... on Murray's Twitter. (maybe it's been mentioned here and I missed it?)

http://twitter.com/charlesmurray

Steiner said...

"In fact, there is a belt of counties that tend to produce high achievers that runs from Minnesota and the Dakotas south through Missouri and Kansas".

So, do you need me to point out yet again from whence the ancestors of these students came?

Anonymous said...

Immigrants likely have always overachieved when it comes to elite colleges. They have tended to stay in the cities, pushing out the Anglo Americans. The city's schools are the focus of the best teaching and the most ambitious for their students teachers. The cities also have the great libraries and other cultural institutions which help students there become ambitious. I think this is an underestimated negative effect on the natives of immigration, and a great benefit to the immigrants themselves. The result is smart but slightly unambitious kids out in the country. The children of immigrants end up running the country.
Robert Hume

Henry Canaday said...

You know, a lot of the recruitment and selection challenges might go away if colleges would stop deluding themselves that an interview of the candidate, conducted either by an admissions officer or an alumnus who is a bored local lawyer, reveals anything significant about the candidate. Firms that advise corporations on hiring people for important professional jobs say that all but the most professional and disciplined interviewers tend to select people they would like to hang with, not people who would be good at the position.

Think about it. How many people that you came to respect greatly over a long period of acquaintanceship did you actually like when you first met them?

Anonymous said...

Oh boy if this doesn't describe me and a lot of people I knew. Coming from Minnesota podunkville, I thought I was doing pretty good by going to a state university. Ivy League was not even on my radar screen, it just didn't occur to me for even a moment.

The state U was loaded with smart industrious kids from small towns and blue collar backgrounds, many of whom had served in the military first.

I suspect there is a large, large reservoir of smart white kids who are badly neglected by the elite. The ones that go to state U are sometimes the lucky ones. I knew some pretty smart kids in high school, but some of them, especially the ones with bad family situations or other issues, didn't even make it past high school or community college.

Back in the old days, the Democratic party would have cared about people like this, but over the past few decades the Dems have shifted from being mainly concerned with economic issues to being mainly concerned with race. Affluent liberals then can feel good about themselves because they throw bones to hopeless poor blacks while they continue to support and take part in the free trade/high finance globocrat vision that is gutting the American working class.

Anonymous said...

From an initial casual observation, at least in the west there seems to be a strongish correlation between high achievers per 17 year old and either a land grant university or a resort area, going off of FIgure 7.

Eg, El Dorado county in CA seems to be a high-scoring area; it includes South Lake Tahoe. Inyo county (Bishop, Owens River Valley) scores well. Benton and Linn counties, home to Oregon State and the University of Oregon, score well, as does Deschutes county (Bend, a resort area.) Benton County in WA has good scores--they used to produce plutonium there at the Hanford National Lab. Maybe radioactive spider bites are rampant.

So the hypothetical Ivy university recruiter could hit the slopes and interview some kids at the same time. The moneyball approach is to look for ski bums and the kids of professors.

Anonymous said...

Is it really such a bad thing to have high IQ people go to State, rather than Harvard? Sure, they might not get the same jobs in finance that their Ivy League counterparts would get, but I can think of worse fates. Also, might it not be nice for the poorer areas to actually keep some of their high achievers?

Anonymous said...

Among kids with good test scores and grades, who grabs for the brass ring of elite colleges and who doesn't bother?

One overlooked factor: drop-outs.

I don't mean simply kids and young adults that drop out from public school or college. I mean the drop-out lifestyle. That must attract many smart people, and smart people do tend to value freedom and happiness, often more than money and power. Not everyone wants to be a corporate yuppie, or an academic monk.

Anonymous said...

Steve, maybe it's my eyes or my machine, but the fonts seem to swap back and forth, it's hard to tell what's you and what's a quote.

Anonymous said...

whoa the font sizes are all over the place

Anonymous said...

Hoxby set the threshold too low. 1300 SAT is good enough for URMs to get into Ivies but not even close for a white kid unless they are "hooked" (e.g. recruited athlete). So the "underachievers" are behaving rationally - a white kid with 1300 SAT doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell to get into Harvard. They should have compare the SAT 1300 blacks to SAT 1500 whites, because that is their real world competition.

Anonymous said...

I earlier mentioned that underclass whites are worse off than underclass blacks or Hispanics. This data (further) validates what I'm saying.

A lot of poor blacks might grow up in bad circumstances and see a fair share of violence, but they also feel connected to "brothers who made it out" through sports or entertainment. Even the worst aspects of underclass black culture, such as rap, glorify men who made their way from the projects to the Hamptons. A poor black kid has obstacles, but hope at least. As for Hispanics, they tend to be well rooted in their families and culturally "vibrant", if somewhat unambitious and low class. Poor Asians are Tiger people and just a generation away from making it to the suburbs.

Underclass whites tend to be much more nihilistic than minorities. Even if they're living in a working/middle class area, they have much less hope. A lot of their culture revolves around drugs, alcohol, fringe behavior, and bizzare music (Jugaloos, Eminem, Metal). Compare the macho bragadacchio of 50 Cent to the angry estrangement of Eminem - that presents a good contrast of underclass blacks to whites.

Recall that the NY Times reported that life expectancy dropped for white HS dropouts, but rose for Hispanic and black dropouts. My guess was that higher nihilism, more estrangement from general society, and much worse addiction problems were responsible.

Poor whites may not make the news very often because they don't form organized gangs or inner city ghettos (generally). That doesn't mean there aren't a lot of them and it doesn't mean that they're doing well. The white underclass is way worse off in general than minorities.

Anonymous said...

Hispanics moving to other states that whites don't consider as much for instance Kansas. A better achiever hispanic left the Chicago area for Kansas. I heard hispanics on the low end moved there as well saying they left California to get a job and its cheaper to live. Hispanics that live to California don't go as much to the closer states that are cheaper and more hispanic states, such as Nevada, Arizona, Texas or New Mexico but are making a longer journey. Whites if they are liberal in California head for Washington or Oregon if they are conservative Arizona and Texas. They moved to a state more closer.

Anonymous said...

I'm a former unambitious high achiever (I graduated from high school in the mid-80s, and I'm white) from the dead center of that 'belt of counties' running from MN to KS.

I could have been a National Merit Scholar, but was so uninformed and naive that I didn't realize that being named a semi-finalist was the essence of the award. I did take the SAT and become a finalist, but the idea of exploiting this status aggressively just didn't enter my consciousness. My school's guidance counselor was utterly unhelpful, and several of my teachers wanted to see me stay close to home and attend a local liberal arts college.

Anyway, I ended up at a different liberal arts college, a mildly-selective but not outstanding one, and did well. But it didn't hit me until grad school, really, that there wasn't much of anything separating me from graduates of big-name schools.

My life has turned out fine -- I've ended up as a long-term expatriate, which suits me, but I do look back sometimes and wonder what might have been if I'd had even one mentor in high school who actually understood how the academic world works.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I wonder if it's to do with white people still making uo a large percentage of the skilled bluecollar segment?

The thing about that is until recently i'd say it was the best spot overall among the average careers - excluding rock star and things like that.

You're basically the aristocracy of the bluecollar world, good money (becoming past tense), lots of freedom, responsibility if you wanted it but not if you didn't etc plus the best women - with a few geeky exceptions - are nurses so you got the best women too.

Unless you jumped directly from the top of the bluecollar world to the top of the whitecollar world i'd say overall it was downhill.

ricpic said...

The bright low ambitious whites have the smarts to go into the trades and do very well thank you without incurring crippling debt.

Steve Sailer said...

"The moneyball approach is to look for ski bums and the kids of professors."

Right. Neal Stephenson makes up lists of high-achieving offspring of Midwestern professors. They played a big role in the founding of Silicon Valley, for example.

The tougher thing is to get through to the one kid in the town who is really, really smart.

Steve Sailer said...

"You know, a lot of the recruitment and selection challenges might go away if colleges would stop deluding themselves that an interview of the candidate, conducted either by an admissions officer or an alumnus who is a bored local lawyer, reveals anything significant about the candidate."

I did a few interviews of Rice U. applicants, but then gave up because I couldn't see much evidence that my judgments were any help to anybody.

Steve Sailer said...

Robert Hume says:

"Immigrants likely have always overachieved when it comes to elite colleges. They have tended to stay in the cities, pushing out the Anglo Americans. ... I think this is an underestimated negative effect on the natives of immigration, and a great benefit to the immigrants themselves. The result is smart but slightly unambitious kids out in the country."

Right, exurbs are fine, but city life can be great.

Northwest Europeans have tended to build great cities, then move on, while other groups have dug in.

elvisd said...

My life has turned out fine -- I've ended up as a long-term expatriate, which suits me, but I do look back sometimes and wonder what might have been if I'd had even one mentor in high school who actually understood how the academic world works.
Many guidance counselors are worthless, and I've seen a few who were actually detrimental to kids.

Anonymous said...

An A-minus average from a mediocre public school won't even get an applicant into a lower-tier Ivy without significant additional hooks.

Foreign Expert said...

Maybe a lot of middle americans are intimidated. Once, when teaching a grad class for teachers in Kansas City, I told them the story of Calvin Trilling, who went from KC to Yale in the 50s and who said it was like going to a foreign country. The teachers all nodded "Yes" (to my surprise---I grew up in the shadow of Harvard). What do you think they tell their students?

Foreign Expert said...

I went to Purdue (Indiana) in the 60s and was shocked to learn the degree to which ordinary people held higher education in contempt. "That book-learnin' won't do you a lick of good if you don't have commonsense."

Steve Sailer said...

"Many guidance counselors are worthless"

My son wasn't getting any good advice on colleges at a seemingly strong Catholic high school, so I wound up paying out of pocket a college admissions guidance counselor at ultra-expensive Harvard-Westlake for advice. H-W hires the best -- this lady's predecessor in the job was Caitlin Flanagan.

Anonymous said...

1400 SAT/ 135 IQ. I don't hold higher education in contempt. I do hold connectedness/credentialism in contempt. I'll make it on my own.

Anonymous said...

wrong quote:

I suspect there is a large, large reservoir of smart white kids who are badly neglected by the elite.

The question is, how do we tap them? Fuck Harvard. How do we tap our own resources?

Anonymous said...

The white underclass is way worse off in general than minorities.

That's because the white race is its own worst enemy. The white race as a whole is very good at policing, judging, rejecting, disowning, condemning, punishing, treating, and mistreating its own members for all sorts of "sins" rather than acting with a little solidarity like all other races.

But that's all right. In a century or two, the white race - all 150 of its members living on an island somewhere - can pat itself on its collective back for its superior morality.

Anonymous said...

To belabor the obvious, I suspect the ski bums are the offspring of corporate high-achieving types who made a lot of money early on. The parents made enough to buy a ski place or a golf membership someplace tony while still in their 40's and 50's, then moved there with their kids.

The professors kids are an interesting problem, since they may be low income, but not in the same way plumber's kids are. A Liberal Arts instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College or a small West Texas college probably isn't making a lot of money but knows the score on college admissions.

I wonder what the half-life of a high IQ population is. Maybe some defense research locations out in the sticks attracted PhDs, but cutbacks killed the site. Do test scores immediately plummet, or do they hold up for a few generations? A physicist-in-the-woodpile effect?

Steve Sailer said...

"I wonder what the half-life of a high IQ population is."

Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart met at Apple Valley High School in the 1950s. Zappa's dad was a defense scientist. Zappa, famously, chose to live in Laurel Canyon rather than out near Edwards AFB.

Anonymous said...

How about begging USC film school officials to get into college like Robert Zemeckis did according to wiki.

"Zemeckis applied only to University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, and got into the Film School on the strength of an essay and a music video based on a Beatles song. Not having heard from the university itself, Zemeckis called and was told he had been rejected because of his average grades. The director gave an "impassioned plea" to the official on the other line, promising to go to summer school and improve his studies, and eventually convinced the school to accept him.[7] Arriving at USC that Fall, Zemeckis encountered a program that was, in his words, made up of "a bunch of hippies [and] considered an embarrassment by the university."

Anonyia said...

"I could have been a National Merit Scholar, but was so uninformed and naive that I didn't realize that being named a semi-finalist was the essence of the award. I did take the SAT and become a finalist, but the idea of exploiting this status aggressively just didn't enter my consciousness. My school's guidance counselor was utterly unhelpful, and several of my teachers wanted to see me stay close to home and attend a local liberal arts college."

I also skipped the National Merit Scholar test. I didn't see the point; I had already done well enough on my ACT to guarantee free tuition to the flagship state U which my parents had attended. I know a lot of people who were in the same boat.

bluto said...

I was another bright white from podunksvile, though I'm one of the lone minority majority counties that's very near the Canadian border. All through primary and secondary school I got accolades (highest was some CTY award in 7th grade). Even though I graduated from one of the better high schools in the county, our guidance councilors were terrible. My family had no idea how the game was played. Ended up at a decent Engineering school that heavily recruited people like me, but realized my sophomore year that EE wasn't my thing and switched to economics at a school probably best known for skiing. Career has worked out ok, nothing amazing but I'm comfortable on a single income in a coastal city.

I'd say there's a growing theme, that guidance councilors are pretty important for the schools that lack family connections.

Bob Arctor said...

"Is it really such a bad thing to have high IQ people go to State, rather than Harvard? Sure, they might not get the same jobs in finance that their Ivy League counterparts would get, but I can think of worse fates. Also, might it not be nice for the poorer areas to actually keep some of their high achievers?"

It's a horrible thing because the Ivy League is the gateway into the upper echelons of the American Establishment, and having an political, cultural, and financial elite disproportionately selected from various East Coast groups has been an utter disaster for America over the last few decades. Foreign policy, immigration, banking, trade etc. are all cataclysmically worse than they were only a few decades ago.

Not everything in this world is directly about money or your income.

Anonymous said...

What about homeschooled kids ... wouldn't that be another hidden enclave of overlooked smart white kids? I specifically mean kids homeschooled for educational reasons (plus personal protection).

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but an excellent refutation of feminist gobbledygook:

NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/opinion/sunday/darwin-was-wrong-about-dating.html?pagewanted=all

WSJ:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323596204578241691461160054.html

Anonymous said...

"That's because the white race is its own worst enemy. The white race as a whole is very good at policing, judging, rejecting, disowning, condemning, punishing, treating, and mistreating its own members for all sorts of "sins" rather than acting with a little solidarity like all other races."

That's true. So many white people people hate other white people because they are "hicks", proles or whatever else they are.

Anonymous said...

"For Harvard and Yale admit a few sky-high Asian scorers to jack the numbers up and play games to exclude low-scorers such as AA and legacy admits. "

what? btw there's a score limit.

Diversity works to make it easier for elites, the NAMs don't make it to the next level, the women drop out more, the real competition is out there working hard to make ends meet and believing in lies.

Anonymous said...

" t's a horrible thing because the Ivy League is the gateway into the upper echelons of the American Establishment, and having an political, cultural, and financial elite disproportionately selected from various East Coast groups has been an utter disaster for America over the last few decades. Foreign policy, immigration, banking, trade etc. are all cataclysmically worse than they were only a few decades ago."

Yes, but who says people from middle America won't buy into the elite ideas at Harvard or Yale like the Clintons did. They weren't from elite families.

It seems all these Republicans that say they are for the average people buy into the immigration and globalist ideas as much as everyone else in elite circles.

Anonymous said...

@ Henry Canaday -

The local interview is the least important part of the application process. It can hurt an applicant who behaves embarrassingly, but it rarely helps an applicant. It's mostly a hoop to jump through and a chance to personalize the process to influence the applicants to choose the school on the off-chance that they actually get in.

Anonymous said...

Whitebreadland also needs to ditch its Orwellian fascist police state mentality if it wants to stick together. Blacks love other blacks, Latinos love other Latinos. Even the ones that go to prison or other institutions are still part of the Family. This ia true even of Italians and Greeks, one big happy family. WASPs love their precious gods of Law, Order, and Sanity so much, they sacrifice their own children to it. Cannibals!

Jack said...

Athletics are the major way for white non Jews to go to Ivies or NESCAC schools. Just how it is...try to instill some athletic skill in your kid.

Anonymous said...

In some ways going to podunk U was a benefit for me - I didn't get indoctrinated to the same degree. I had many profs, especially older ones, who while left-leaning thought that stuff like postmodernism and multiculturalism were hooey.

A bit off topic: My assessment from living on the east coast a while was that there was a lot of money floating around but that things were very badly run compared to Minnesota. Thanks to a combo of inability and cynical indifference, a typical eastern nonprofit seemed to be run with considerably less competence and dedication than a small-town gas station back home.

Anonymous said...

A lot of poor Asians (Koreans, Chinese, ethnic Chinese from SE Asia) have wealthier uncles and cousins who they emulate. Physically they reside in the ghetto, but mentally they're living in the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Going to Podunk U, or just not going to college at all, was traditionally not a bad idea. The world has changed in the past few decades. There are fewer paths to upward mobility and everything is quite a bit more winner-take-all, so your career path is a lot more important these days. It pays to go to an Ivy League or become a doctor/lawyer/dentist/pharmacist.

Going into the trades is not a good idea.

Peter the Shark said...

I do hold connectedness/credentialism in contempt. I'll make it on my own.

That's just stupid. Pretty much any ambitious person anywhere at anytime in history has used patronage, networks and/or family and school connections to get ahead. Vergil, Mozart, Shakespeare, Henry Ford, Churchill, Evelyn Waugh, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Einstein, etc. Human beings are social animals.

Anonymous said...

This confirms Steve's old theory that untapped talent in America is overwhelmingly to be found among rural and small-town whites, not any minority communities. Of course, elite colleges, despite their meritocratic pretensions, are not interested in seeking out such talent.

...which is a damn shame for all of humanity. This is the stock that built America, whose inventors and entrepreneurs came from.

Jews, NE WASPs, and Asians may be clever at manipulating numbers, shuffling papers, and exploiting the rest of humanity, but how many of their inventions and innovations have pushed civilization forward?

ben tillman said...

The local interview is the least important part of the application process. It can hurt an applicant who behaves embarrassingly, but it rarely helps an applicant. It's mostly a hoop to jump through and a chance to personalize the process to influence the applicants to choose the school on the off-chance that they actually get in.

You're overlooking one way in which it can be very important. The interviewer can signal to the applicant that she is not wanted. Like if you're a high school cheerleader from Kentucky and you apply to Brown, the off-campus interviewer may tell you you're too all-American.

Anonymous said...

Human beings are social animals.

There is a difference between social and socialist.

Anonymous said...

That's because the white race is its own worst enemy. The white race as a whole is very good at policing, judging, rejecting, disowning, condemning, punishing, treating, and mistreating its own members for all sorts of "sins" rather than acting with a little solidarity like all other races.

Why do you think we call them mean motherfuckers?

Anonymous said...

"Going into the trades is not a good idea."

Not now it isn't as everything is crumbling but at least in the Anglosphere (maybe other places too) for at least the last 150 years or so it was a great idea if you wanted the best balance between material comfort and freedom.

Josh Yellowfever said...

Steve: I seems getting a different conclusion than the authors' and yours on figure 5. The share of low income high achieving minority students does increase from the total achieving pie (figure 4): Black from 1.5 to 5.7, and hispanic from 4.7 to 7.6. White share actually decreases. Do I miss something?

Josh Yellowfever said...

The article seems suggesting that NAM overrepresents in elite colleges, since the average enrollment of NAM is several fold of the number of their high achieving share, while high achieving whites get a raw deal (because their lack of ambition or information?). Overall, I am seeing the ruling of supreme cout ruling this summer: BAN RACE as factor for admission.

Anonymous said...

The "Figure 7" map is endlessly interesting. It shows counties with a higher ratio of high achievers per 17-year old. I'm not sure if this is a snapshot, and therefore may bounce around a lot on a year-to-year basis, or if it's averaged over several years.

Flathead, Pondera, and Lewis and Clark counties in Montana have good numbers. Lewis and Clark county corresponds to the "Land Grant university professor's kids" rule. Why would Kalispel in Flathead score well, though? Overall Montana stacks up pretty well. Apparently proximity to the Canadian border counts for something.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much any ambitious person anywhere at anytime in history has used patronage, networks and/or family and school connections to get ahead.

You must assume that such things are available in the first place, and are reliable enough to be relied on. They often are not. Whites and especially WASPs are notorious for not lending a hand to their brothers, or attaching moralistic strings.

Yo- said...

""Hoxby set the threshold too low. 1300 SAT is good enough for URMs to get into Ivies but not even close for a white kid unless they are "hooked" (e.g. recruited athlete). So the "underachievers" are behaving rationally - a white kid with 1300 SAT doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell to get into Harvard. They should have compare the SAT 1300 blacks to SAT 1500 whites, because that is their real world competition.""

This. I was a small town, rural, etc... white student. That was my SAT as a white male. But I was decent enough at football to get a few sniffs by some of the non-Harvard/Yale Ivies.

What I remember back then were that application fees were kind of expensive and you could tell whether you had a decent chance or not by asking them to waive the fee. In the end, one smaller Ivy and local, famous catholic Midwestern university (barely) admitted me. But even then I knew I didn't want the loans, and my dad couldn't pay, for the full-boat price-tag.

Ended up going to a pretty good local private school who listed a similar price tag (about 24K back in the late 90's), but cut that by over half due to the SAT's and football.

The way I assume the OP was correct about sports, is that my first, and main contact, with any of those bigger name schools was always one of the football coaches.

Anonymous said...

In Germany, blue collar work still pays well. The Germans restrict entry into their labor market and use protectionist economic to keep high-paying manufacturing jobs at home. Unions play an important role too in keeping wages high. In Germany, autoworkers make $100K incomes a year and, despite that, their auto companies are thriving.

Of course, if we implemented German immigration and economic policies, the neoconservatives, Ayn-Rand libertarians, and WSJ would squeal at the top of their lungs.



Truth said...

" Jack said...
Athletics are the major way for white non Jews to go to Ivies or NESCAC schools. Just how it is...try to instill some athletic skill in your kid."

You're admitting that white people are mentally inferior to Asians?

Anonymous said...

At least 20 years ago, the Ivies looking for small town exotics recruited a lot from the hippie kids (some of them homeschooled) from northern California and southern Oregon. There was one family in our area who homeschooled their kids and sent all four of them to Harvard-- for a little while they were the most famous homeschooling family in the US.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't send your kids to Harvard-Westlake Steve.

Anonymous said...

Whites and especially WASPs are notorious for not lending a hand to their brothers, or attaching moralistic strings.

There is an old saying about WASPs, that they will not throw a life preserver to a drowning man, but rather moralize that drowning is punishment for sin, weakness, and laziness.

God, even Asians with their karma are more civilized!

Steve Sailer said...

Harvard-Westlake is way out of my price range. But, in my occasional dealings with it, I've been impressed.

For example, Charlie Munger, the brains behind Warren Buffett, is on the board of directors. That's not bad...

Anonymous said...

"Athletics are the major way for white non Jews to go to Ivies or NESCAC schools. Just how it is...try to instill some athletic skill in your kid."

Not just for whites. Asian here who learned about the 'real' rules of elite college admissions a decade ago for unhooked, 1450-1500 SAT, top 2% graduating class type asians and whites. Was athletic but never was pushed in developing in my sport as the vast majority of asian parents didn't understand how powerful the athletic hook is.

My much younger sibling had slightly less academic stats but I mad sure they were pushed in their chosen sport (travel teams, tournaments, showcases) and easily got into a top 3-lac with the athletic hook.

Anonymous said...

"Harvard-Westlake is way out of my price range. But, in my occasional dealings with it, I've been impressed.

For example, Charlie Munger, the brains behind Warren Buffett, is on the board of directors. That's not bad..."

Ah. My younger sibling goes to AWS (from a average public school, true middle class background) and has many classmates from "HADES" and other top boarding/day schools in the northeast but says that the Harvard-Westlake classmates are the better in terms of a combination of intellectual prowess and friendliness.

Anonymous said...

At least 20 years ago, the Ivies looking for small town exotics recruited a lot from the hippie kids (some of them homeschooled) from northern California and southern Oregon. There was one family in our area who homeschooled their kids and sent all four of them to Harvard-- for a little while they were the most famous homeschooling family in the US

That would have been from the early 90s, right? At the time, homeschooling was mostly a hippie / dropout / bohemian thing. The homeschoolers may or may not have been "leftists" in the conventional sense, but at the time leftists applauded them for rebelling against The System which they say as being increasingly militarized.

How times have changed! Christians began to take up the lead in homeschooling, which caused leftists to drop any support they might have had, like a hot potato. Leftists and educrats also brought up the "socialization" issue.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Long, long time ago, I once had a several months task of entering a huge amount of SAT data into a database (back when this stuff was manual...).

I remember going through urban high school after urban high school wherein not a single kid in the joint would get over 900 (pre-norming), much less be some diamond in the rough at >1400 or so.

Even though I've always been a lifelong PC skeptic, so to speak, I still remember being amazed at the enormity of this, thinking, "c'mon, there has to be at least one somewhere in this school" time after time and always coming up empty handed.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

I wonder what the half-life of a high IQ population is. Maybe some defense research locations out in the sticks attracted PhDs, but cutbacks killed the site. Do test scores immediately plummet, or do they hold up for a few generations? A physicist-in-the-woodpile effect?

Huntsville, Alabama might be a good candidate for studying this sort of thing.

The civic/commercial leadership is (or has been, been a while since I've been engaged on the topic) very self aware of being an "oasis" (their word) in an otherwise benighted Alabama desert.

I know during the 1990's there were a few dustups between Huntsville promoters and the rest of the state, as they would pretty much promote the place as, "wow, aren't you surprised to find a place as enlightened and intelligent as Huntsville in such a rednecky and stupid place as Alabama".

As background information for unaware readers, Huntsville is where von Braun and a lot of his underlings ended up and established Marshall Space Flight Center. This attracted a lot of out of state tech talent to the region and through at least the 80's/90's had a mini Silicon Valley effect in the area. Intergraph, the workstation/graphics company, is probably one of the more well known (back then) companies to come out of the area.

My impression, FWIW, is that Huntsvilles is regressing to the mean.

Anonymous said...

The Ivies don't like middle class white kids because they don't want to give their imprimatur to potentional heretics like Bill O'Reilly or Tom Woods. Imagine the embarrassment if Steve Sailer went to Harvard.

Anonyia said...

Ex Submarine Officer,

I am also under the impression that Huntsville has regressed to the mean of Alabama as it has grown. The city never did enough to improve its aesthetic and attract new companies or talent; the area is basically just a scattered lump of suburban sprawl (with no downtown) and strip malls at this point.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about Huntsville, but it does also have U Alabama-Huntsville, which will skew the results. And Huntsville still gets a lot of Defense dollars. I can't quite pick out the county that contains Huntsville on the map, but I think it's one of the high scoring ones.

Los Alamos does well, unsurprisingly.

It's entertaining to pick out dark spots on the map that are away from metro areas and try to figure out why they have a high proportion of smart kids. There may be something to the ski bum hypothesis. Cour d'Alene and Sandpoint seem to do OK. Idaho Falls, too, apparently because of the National Lab there. The counties in Montana just north of Yellowstone do well. But Ketchum/Sun Valley, not so much.

Anonymous said...

If I were Jared Taylor, I would wear my Yale diploma hanging from a chain around my neck every time I made a public appearance.

Anonymous said...

BTW, the light areas in the map seem to correspond very roughly to the areas that have a high proportion of African Americans, at least in the south and Mississippi River delta. It would be interesting to see a race-specific map.

The low numbers for the high plains states are puzzling. The area along the Rio Grande probably corresponds to high Hispanic population density, but the belt seems to extend all the way up to the Dakotas.

Anonymous said...

BTW, if I were a 20 or 30 something with a taste for rural or exurban living, married and with a family to raise, and had a way to work remotely, I'd be looking even more closely at that map. The "next to a land grant university" rule is still good, but you could also expand that to swank year-round recreation areas or National Labs.

Difference Maker said...

Jack said...
Athletics are the major way for white non Jews to go to Ivies or NESCAC schools. Just how it is...try to instill some athletic skill in your kid.


Hehe.. I actually dominated the varsity athletes in high school gym class. Did well in college intramurals too

If only I had gotten more sleep and more food, and more exercise..

I won't claim to be high level but then, what Ivy is. I must fully harness the power of youth before I get old..

ben tillman said...

BTW, the light areas in the map seem to correspond very roughly to the areas that have a high proportion of African Americans, at least in the south and Mississippi River delta. It would be interesting to see a race-specific map.


I don't understand. What map?

Anonymous said...

"The low numbers for the high plains states are puzzling."

Factor in the Indian Reservations. For instance, a good chunk of South Dakota is Indian Reservation.

Anonymous said...

The paper is downloadable as a pdf if you come from the right place, or if you cough up some money. One of the illustrations, Figure 7, is a map of US. Counties. Those that have a high percentage of 17 year olds scoring well on tests are colored darker, and counties with a low percentage of 17 year olds scoring well are lighter.

The county out in the sticks where Enormous State U is located winds up with a high percentage of 17 year olds that score extremely well. They're the kids of the profs and the the kids of the techies who are running the linear accelerator. Maybe there are a few farm kids around, but most of the people in town work for the University and are pretty smart, and so are their kids. Your kid is going to be around a lot of other smart kids.

The other dark areas are usually urban. There's money to be made there, and it attracts smart or ambitious people.

If you like a nonurban lifestyle you might want to look for where smart people like to gather outside of cities. Land grant universities are a good bet. Defense research sites tend to be another. Maybe upscale resort areas as well. In contrast you probably want to avoid the places with a low percentage of 17 year olds that score well, if you've got a choice in the matter.

Anonymous said...

"There is an old saying about WASPs, that they will not throw a life preserver to a drowning man, but rather moralize that drowning is punishment for sin, weakness, and laziness.

God, even Asians with their karma are more civilized!"

1) That saying doesn't exist.
2) The WASP problem is not that they don't throw life preservers but that they don't throw them exclusively to their own kin - or less so on average than others.

That is obviously a flaw in one way but the upside of being that way is it works *much* better if everyone does it - but only if everyone does it.

Now they've been displaced and things are rapidly devolving back to ethnic and familial nepotism everything is falling apart.

There may well be a collection of nepotistic regional superpowers in the near future but there will never be a nepotistic global superpower.

Anonymous said...

"I remember going through urban high school after urban high school wherein not a single kid in the joint would get over 900 (pre-norming), much less be some diamond in the rough at >1400 or so."

The National Merit Semi-Finalist winners for each state (which roughly correspond to SAT 1400) are published by high school. Here are last year's listings for PA, where I happen to live:

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/phillyburbs.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/d8/3d8eabdc-5690-5b87-b2f6-74257740d048/4e6fde6c21427.pdf.pdf

Turn to the listings for Philadelphia. Philadelphia public schools have around 12,000 students/grade in a total of 52 public schools. There are a few magnet schools, most notably Central and Masterman and then there are general neighborhood schools that most students attend. Outside of the magnet schools (and private and Catholic schools) the number of National Merit Semi-finalists in (the largely black) general high schools in the entire city of Philadelphia (population 1.5 million) is ZERO. ZERO.

Even the "elite" Central High School had a total of 6 finalists out of a graduating class of approximately 600. By contrast, in my daughter's suburban private school, there were also 6.... out of a class of 36. In nearby suburban Berwyn, the general public high school had 26 out of around 500, which is more than the entire Philadelphia public school system (20/12,000).

Anonymous said...

"Going into the trades is not a good idea."

I wonder if it's possible to know which careers produced the most grand-children on average in the nw euro countries in the period 1860-1960 ish? I think electrician will be near the top of the non-farming ones.

Anonymous said...

"I think electrician will be near the top of the non-farming ones."

Actually when you think about it it might be an example of affordable family formation.

If you assume a cultural divide between blue and whitecollar populations and assume as a result they prefer to live separate then the top of the bluecollar tree will have the best ratio of funds to house prices in their segment.

People in the next rung above might bring in more money (maybe) but at the same time be at the bottom of their segment in terms of competing for more expensive homes so only the top segment of the whitecollar population will have the same *ratio* as electricians in terms of AFF.

This is probably wrong but it's a fun thought.

Anonymous said...

Well, hey. I'm a dimwitted white boy who never met my male parent, and my female parent was a worthless derelict. Yet despite my maculate origin- I'm borrowing from Robert A. Heinlein with that- I was able to fumble my way into an admission to the University of Michigan circa 1986 courtesy of a 29 score on the ACT plus four credits in calculus thanks to the advanced placement exam.

Lacking any sort of money I never actually attended U of M. But I remain pissed at the ACT proctor who gave me a hard time- costing me a couple minutes I should have spent answering questions- because my exam paperwork was on my desk. So I think my ACT score should have been higher, which it was when I took the practice exam.

Whatevs. Odd thing is I somehow manage to have a rather high income in a trade despite lacking an ivy league degree.

And I still remember that I stopped reading "The Bell Curve" at the point when the authors stated that all smart people had been vacuumed up and had ended up in various ivy league schools.

Sure. Strange that so many of these geniuses never noticed that the were incurring debts that they could never repay. My special favorite college degree guy is that infamous individual who graduated with a masters degree in puppetry- and ended up as an occupy-whatever protester.

Yep. That's the smart one. Not me. Hahahaha.

laustcoz said...

This study is an indictment of many of our current institutions. It means our elites are not merely far from meritocratic--but that they could be replaced many times over by natural talent less privileged (by that fact, less likely to be bound to mistaken assumptions?). The politicians, lawyers, doctors we are forced to accept are not the best we could, and should, have.