July 19, 2010

Ross Douthat on "Roots of White Anxiety"

Ross Douthat writes in the NYT:
Last year, two Princeton sociologists, Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford, published a book-length study of admissions and affirmative action at eight highly selective colleges and universities. Unsurprisingly, they found that the admissions process seemed to favor black and Hispanic applicants, while whites and Asians needed higher grades and SAT scores to get in. But what was striking, as Russell K. Nieli pointed out last week on the conservative Web site Minding the Campus, was which whites were most disadvantaged by the process: the downscale, the rural and the working-class.

This was particularly pronounced among the private colleges in the study. For minority applicants, the lower a family’s socioeconomic position, the more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualification.

A big thing that is going on is how clawing your way up the ladder of education keeps getting more complex, which gives kids from families with their acts together a bigger advantage. I know a few families with kids in high school where Dad, say, recently retired in his mid-fifties from a career making six to seven figures annually, while Mom is a former Chief Financial Officer or law partner who became a stay-at-home mom when she had her second child at 41. They tend to be very nice people and they also tend to be very, very hard to compete with at readying kids for success. But at least I get tips from them. For example, one of them recently told me how big a check you have to write to Harvard to move your kid up from Waiting List to Accepted. Not that that's a very relevant bit of advice for me, but it was definitely interesting to find out.

What we've seen in America is the emergence of a Winner's Class of people who, while they may endorse enthusiastically all the 1960s changes for other people, they don't actually follow them themselves. They don't have a child out of wedlock, they do get married, they stay married, they live amidst others like themselves, they send their kids to schools with the children of other people like themselves, and the wife often downshifts her career to invest more time in her children and in her husband's career.

For kids growing up in broken families, well, lots of luck.

For example, the spread of the online Common Application for most colleges would seem to make things easier. But the side effect is that it vastly increases the number of applicants per college, so acceptance rates drop. So, you need to be aware of this change over the last decade, and stop listening to traditional advice about applying to four to six colleges. Instead, assume you have to Go Large. Budget at least $1,000 for application filing fees.

Similarly, in Los Angeles, there are all sorts of special public school programs that are pretty good, but the way they keep out the unwashed masses is by making the application process counterintuitive -- the key to get your kid into the magnet school of your choice in middle school is that you need to make sure he gets turned down by magnet programs in grade school in order to build up compensatory points, but if he gets accepted at a magnet elementary school, then you've shot your wad for getting into a magnet middle school, so it's crucial to apply initially at elementary magnets where the odds are low of acceptance. Got that? The only way we ever figured it out for our second son was because he was on a baseball team where all the other mothers sat around in the stands talking about the magnet school application process.

When I was a kid, my parents never once attended my baseball games.  In a Steven Spielberg movie, this would condemn them as the worst parents of all time, but they didn't want to put pressure on me. And that was A-OK with me, since I mostly struck out, wandered around lost under fly balls in right field, and got picked off. Now, both parents are expected to arrive in an SUV loaded with baseball gear 45 minutes before the game.

Back then, my parents didn't feel the need to socialize with other baseball parents because, amazing as it might seem to 21st Century parents, they had friends of their own with whom they enjoyed spending time for reasons that had nothing to do with their children. Life then was like a less salacious version of Mad Men.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome.

I went to the public high school down the street and nailed all my standardized tests. But your way seems good too, totally.

Sourmash said...


When I was a kid, my parents never once attended my baseball games. In a Steven Spielberg movie, this would condemn them as the worst parents of all time


Yes, this concept appeals tremendously to mothers, who think that theirs is the only way to help their kids get ahead.

The more fathers you can convince to neglect their careers and adopt the female approach to boosting their children, the less competition your kids will have and the less competition you will have.

Kind of a win/win/win ...

Peter A said...

Good post Steve. You could argue the real point of affirmative action is to use NAMs as a cudgel to keep other whites (and increasingly Asians) out. After all - once they leave college NAMs are no longer a competitive threat to the children of the white elite. NAMs get special jobs doing "outreach" - like Michelle Obama. Or they get recycled into academia in "ethnic studies". Very few NAMs ever end up with power jobs at law firms, investment banks, in C-suite level management or consultancies. In reality black kids don't take elite college spots from white kids - blacks are simply used as blocks to keep the wrong sort of white kids out.

Chief Seattle said...

This pool of achieving lower-income whites seems like a huge opportunity for a college unafraid to buck the diversity racket. Most likely some are already taking advantage of students overlooked by the Ivies because of their skin color. Although I'm sure they would deny it in the current political environment.

Anonymous said...

Like the first poster implies, anyone in the performance 99th% and the sociability can go to a great college, but probably doesn't even need to to succeed in life.

Anybody in the performance 99.99th% can go to any college they want, including Harvard. Schools like Harvard leave some space for super-rich people with regressed-to-the-mean children to buy their way into the bottom quarter.

As for the pushy parents of mediocre kids, it's a system inefficiency that's hard to cure. These kids tend to wash out because if you're not a good talent-match for your job, your job experience tends to suck.

The biggest problem (because they're the hardest to get rid of) is with people talented at holding on to high status jobs where it would be more beneficial to have people talented at DOING the jobs that happen to be high status. For example, someone who is politically talented but a bad resource manager.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

Acilius said...

A number of times you've said that given a choice between a straightforward racial quota system and any more subtle form of affirmative action, you might well choose the former since then you would get "the best of each race." Doesn't that mean that you should welcome Espenshade and Radford's findings about whites? Surely we would expect "the downscale, the rural, and the working-class" to be less well prepared for college on average than are their upscale, metropolitan, and professional-class cousins.

Moreover, the higher rate of admissions for poorer than for richer nonwhites might also cut against some of your usual themes. It would suggest that, while colleges may have adopted a system that artificially inflates nonwhite enrollment, at the same time they have artificially exaggerated the racial achievement gap by pairing the most highly prepared available cohort of whites with what is at best the second most highly prepared available cohort of nonwhites.

agnostic said...

I am eternally grateful that my childhood just squeaked in before the helicopter parent / soccer mom paranoia exploded in the mid-late '90s.

Fundamentally the super-parent phenomenon is about a decline in trust that they have in others, and so are taking on more themselves. An awful side-effect is little boys growing up without cool teenage babysitters:

http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2010/03/america-says-so-long-to-babysitter.html

agnostic said...

A major impact of affirmative action, desegregation by busing, etc., has been to destroy the efficiencies of earlier economies of scale in keeping the rabble out. Look at how inefficient it is for individuals along the Mexican border to keep illegals out in a homespun DIY fashion, vs. having the state or national government do so.

It's the same with "finding a good neighborhood" or "getting into a good high school" or whatever. These really are just extra costs thrown onto individuals because meeting the goal of staying away from bad apples can no longer be done taking advantage of economies of scale.

But crippling inefficiencies are OK because otherwise black self-esteem would suffer and throw the global economy into a tailspin. And you don't want to live in *that* world, do you?

helene edwards said...

What do you mean when you say "they tend to be very nice people"? Aren't these the snobs who think that the highest value is being "open," sneer at others for being "judgmental" and call people "racist" for sport? Don't they make jokes about people who shop at WalMart? These are the people Joe Queenan wrote about in Balsamic Dreams when he said he hated his generation because "they said they weren't going to sell out -and then sold out."

BamaGirl said...

"Awesome.

I went to the public high school down the street and nailed all my standardized tests. But your way seems good too, totally."

Agreed.

knightblaster said...

Yep. With our son we pretty much knew, being white, that the only option for him was to totally and completely blow the doors off. If you're a white male and you don't do that, it's assumed it's your fault, and you get put at the way, way back of the line. That's the real "racism" in the U.S. -- elite whites against non-elite whites. People say that it is about "social class", but it's more akin to race, because upmarket whites tend to see low-market whites as being essentially a different race.

not a hacker said...

@Peter A: how about this NAM story? in the 90's a 21-year old black kid, who I met playing ball in Berkeley, told me that he'd robbed a bank in Brooklyn. I asked him how much time he did and he goes, "nah man, my Mom's a big professor at CUNY." Actually a nice kid, much easier to talk to than most of "the community."

liberal biorealist said...

My guess is that the statistics approach Espenshade and Radford employ systematically distorts what's really going on.

Suppose, for example, that the great majority of white students who are really in the highest region of SAT scores (high enough that they stand a good chance of admission to an elite college primarily from academic merit alone) are from the top quartile of income. Suppose that the number of white students in the highest region of SAT scores who come from the lowest quartile in income is relatively very small.

Then what does it mean to say that, controlling for all factors other than income, a white student from a higher income is much more likely to be admitted than a white student from a lower income?

Well, I would expect that what it means is that where the greatest majority of roughly matching cases may be found on those factors being controlled for, white students with greater incomes will have the better odds quoted by E and R. Using ordinary regression techniques, this is pretty much the expected significance, I believe.

But the thing is, where are most of those matching cases? Outside of the highest region of SAT scores.

So what is a likely scenario here? That the good majority of white students who get into elite colleges do so on the basis of clear academic merit, and those are dominated by those outside of the lower middle class. However, there are a relatively small number of white students who get in with distinctly lower SATs, and those are dominated by white students whose parents cough up sizable contributions (or show the potential to do so).

The point is, the underlying absolute numbers in question might be quite trivial. Yes, using this statistical approach, it may appear that white students from lower incomes are getting the shaft. But even if this were fully corrected for, the impact would be insignificant.

My general impression is that all of the dramatic numbers quoted by Espenshade and Radford may be tainted by their neglect of, or deliberate suppression of, this sort of consideration.

Advice Needed said...

Advice Needed: What if your white, male kid is very smart but will not be admitted to an elite school because of his race?
Other than writing a very large check, are there any strategies?

Does lobbying by relatives who attended the elite school help?

How about attending summer school to show he can do the work? Example: Harvard has open admission summer school - no application or transcript required.

Fred said...

"A big thing that is going on is how clawing your way up the ladder of education keeps getting more complex, which gives kids from families with their acts together a bigger advantage."

I think this has big dysgenic effect as well. Many people who are smart and conscientious enough to know how hard this ladder is to climb, but didn't quite have the goods to climb it themselves, probably refrain from having kids. Of course, some people who aren't smart or conscientious enough to think about the ladder have kids early and often.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that mean that you should welcome Espenshade and Radford's findings about whites? Surely we would expect "the downscale, the rural, and the working-class" to be less well prepared for college on average than are their upscale, metropolitan, and professional-class cousins.



No. According to the article, "an upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualifications".

Unless by "well prepared" you mean something other than "well qualified".

Anonymous said...

A big thing that is going on is how clawing your way up the ladder of education keeps getting more complex, which gives kids from families with their acts together a bigger advantage.


More complex => more discrimination against smart whites from a poor background.

Anonymous said...

Suppose, for example, that the great majority of white students who are really in the highest region of SAT scores (high enough that they stand a good chance of admission to an elite college primarily from academic merit alone) are from the top quartile of income. Suppose that the number of white students in the highest region of SAT scores who come from the lowest quartile in income is relatively very small.



Is there any good reason to assume all that?

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

This pool of achieving lower-income whites seems like a huge opportunity for a college unafraid to buck the diversity racket. Most likely some are already taking advantage of students overlooked by the Ivies because of their skin color. Although I'm sure they would deny it in the current political environment.

Maybe Steve could look at the data and see if any universities are doing this already.

There would be numerous problems though.

1) Who's going to steer the kid to this university. Lower income parents probably wouldn't be much help. High school guidance counselors would probably faint at the idea of offering race based advice. That leaves the kids to figure it out for themselves.

2) Where would the university be located? Almost by definition it has to be in flyover/red state territory. That means a small local population and out of state tuition for the rest of the student body. That means massive student loans for our lower income kids.

3) If corporate America doesn't play along the kids will have worthless degrees. If no internships are granted to these kids, or no recruiters come, they've fucked.

It's a nice idea, but not workable.

I am Lugash.

liberal biorealist said...

Is there any good reason to assume all that?

I can't find a reference that directly makes this point. Yet it certainly can be inferred from the relative means of the SAT scores of the two groups, high income and low income whites, which are the better part of a standard deviation apart.

Assuming that the standard deviations for the two groups are roughly the same, and that the distributions are roughly normal, the relative number of high income students in the highest region of SAT scores should greatly dominate those of the lower income students. (It's basically the same argument as with the Jews again -- high income whites being the Jews here.)

And isn't this pretty much the sort of argument one finds throughout The Bell Curve anyway?

Anonymous said...

"Upmarket whites tend to see low-market whites as being essentially a different race."

Yeah. And by the way, this is precicely how it was during the heyday of the WASP elite. And I don't mean their attitude toward the Irish, the Jews, the Italians, etc. but toward their fellow, albeit downscale, WASPs.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Agnostic,

Very nice post about the baby sitters. I had similar experiences growing up but had never thought about them that way until I read your post.

I am Lugash.

Kylie said...

helene edwards said..."What do you mean when you say 'they tend to be very nice people'? Aren't these the snobs who think that the highest value is being 'open,' sneer at others for being 'judgmental' and call people 'racist' for sport? Don't they make jokes about people who shop at WalMart?"

I think they are indeed one and the same. I wouldn't presume to know what Steve Sailer means by that description but I suspect he means it the same way people fifty years ago called affluent conservatives "pillars of the community" or from "good families". It's less a character assessment than it is a kind of short-hand. Essentially, I take it to mean "pleasant people who take full advantage of their position in the community to protect and advance their own interests but aren't really venal so much as opportunistic and self-serving".

Jim Bowery said...

"High education" is simply a government granted monopoly on granting (life) titles of nobility. The same techniques that were used against the nobles of Europe can and are being used against the nobles of the West. Specifically, the third world paper mills are eating the lunch not only of the West's academic institutions but of the West's institutions that have come to place such high value on titles of nobility.

Anonymous said...

"This pool of achieving lower-income whites seems like a huge opportunity for a college unafraid to buck the diversity racket. Most likely some are already taking advantage of students overlooked by the Ivies because of their skin color. Although I'm sure they would deny it in the current political environment."

Without meaning to, BYU is already doing this, by dint of focusing on Mormonism and grades to the exclusion of other factors. The result is that recruiters and grad schools like BYU kids much more than BYU's reputation would warrant (BYU's reputation is poor because it is religious and therefore presumably full of stupid mouth-drollers).

-Anon

Anonymous said...

Suppose, for example, that the great majority of white students who are really in the highest region of SAT scores (high enough that they stand a good chance of admission to an elite college primarily from academic merit alone) are from the top quartile of income. Suppose that the number of white students in the highest region of SAT scores who come from the lowest quartile in income is relatively very small.

Then what does it mean to say that, controlling for all factors other than income, a white student from a higher income is much more likely to be admitted than a white student from a lower income?

Well, I would expect that what it means is that where the greatest majority of roughly matching cases may be found on those factors being controlled for, white students with greater incomes will have the better odds quoted by E and R. Using ordinary regression techniques, this is pretty much the expected significance, I believe.


In other words, you are assuming Espenshade and Radford are incompetent and never adjusted for the size of the different groups? Could be, I suppose, but that's still just an assumption on your part. His bio:


"Thomas J. Espenshade is Professor of Sociology and Faculty Associate of the Office of Population Research. He is director of the National Study of College Experience (NSCE) and Campus Life in America Student Survey (CLASS) projects. His past research has concentrated on social demography, with a particular emphasis on population economics, mathematical demography, family and household demography, and contemporary immigration to the United States. "

I don't see any reason to think the man is ignorant of statistics.

Rohan Swee said...

Well, I just skimmed over the first 30 or so comments from the NYT readers, and the consensus seems to be that this isn't a problem. See, smart poor whites are all blinkered incurious fundies anyway, so they couldn't profit from attending even if they wanted to. As commenter #26 astutely points out, members of this subgroup are only interested in places that breed "agenda-driven propagandists whose message has little or no root in reality." Surely such a mindset doesn't belong in an Ivy League institution!

I mean, come on - like Ms. 26 says (formatting in original):

"Did these "statisticians" you quoted ask the universities why their selections were skewed?
Did they gather data on successful graduation among that same population?
It’s possible they might find that students from the socio-economic level you feature often don’t successfully complete courses in major universities.
Often, the young students do better in training for trades, rather than degree programs."


So there.

(Wonder if she asks the same questions about non-whites from "the socio-economic level you feature"?)

Anonymous said...

At my ivy league school there are two to three well-known backdoor routes into admissions, intended for the wealthy but less academically prepared candidate. This pays for the school's surfeit of administrators, their sinecures, and the expansion of the business.

Standard variation in observed abilities means a few of them actually do excel, but the vast majority are mediocre. But they get the name on their diploma, and access to recruiters... Everyone I know who got in by merit alone is painfully aware of this, and I am not inclined to support the school in the future.

Peter A said...

@ not a hacker - I think you're reinforcing my point. NAMs go to Ivies, but usually never really make the leap to the "elite". That kid's mom is probably an Afro-Am or a literature professor. The kid you met is backsliding and definitely was not competing with Saul Rosenberg's kid for an internship at Goldman Sachs. So the reality is giving NAMs spots at prestigious university costs the white elite nothing, and is in the white elite's best interest - affirmative action makes the elite colleges even MORE elite by reducing the "real" slots available to white and Asian kids who might be able to leverage that education to improve their social mobility. In fact, a cynic might say that if blacks and latinos are not well prepared for those elite colleges when they get there, it works out even better for the white elite. Seems to me Obama is the ultimate manifestation of this - a "black man" empty suit doing whatever Tim Geithner and Wall Street wants him to do.

Anonymous said...

So what is the white gentile percentage at Harvard undergrad? I would think something like 20% these days.

Anonymous said...

"My guess is that the statistics approach Espenshade and Radford employ systematically distorts what's really going on."

My guess is that you're full of shit, and you don't really know anything about statistics.

Zubaz said...

There are plenty of USNWR Top 50 schools with community college transfer agreements. UVa and William & Mary guarantee admission to anyone with a 3.4 GPA. The University of California system guarantees admission to a UC upon satisfactory completion of IGETC requirements. It doesn't guarantee any branch in particular, so could be Riverside, but it could also be Irvine, Santa Barbara, or Davis. UNC has C-STEP. Wisconsin has Madison Area Technical College. Florida, Texas, and Washington are all achievable with a <3.0 from an instate juco, so you don't even necessarily have to be smart to attend and graduate from a Tier 1 institution. Famously, Michigan has no such program. That might be part of the reason they can't get more than 8% of their graduates to stick around in the state.

Most of these programs are geared specifically toward increasing NAM enrollment, but they advertise them under the guise of making higher education affordable for everyone, so that certainly includes white proles.

To those with debt anxiety, I would suggest that after your child graduates from high school, have them enroll in a year-long program at your local technical school. By year-long, I mean out of the program and into the workforce in a year (and not more or less than, so no plumbing/electrical and no nurse assistant). It guarantees them a solid salary (~$35,000-$45,000 depending on area of the country) while they go to school and helps them to meet residency requirements for in-state tuition by the time they are ready to begin their major work.

Alternatively, if this seems like too much work, you could simply tick the Hispanic box. The downside to that, however, is more "Death of White America" type articles, so choose accordingly. Any questions, just ask.

Anonymous said...

I have deep access to one of the top microelectronics labs in the country. There is no way my kid is getting out of competing for the Intel Science Talent Search.

liberal biorealist said...

I don't see any reason to think the man is ignorant of statistics.

On the contrary, I think that his argument depends greatly on his knowledge of statistics -- precisely to make his distorting argument.

It's not as if he says a single thing that wouldn't be backed up by the statistical techniques he employed. The question is whether those statistics don't make things appear far worse than they really are.

Of this I am quite sure: there are many, many more white students from high income households who possess the exceedingly high academic merit ordinarily required by the Ivies than white students from low income households. If one were in fact to admit top students strictly on academic merit, it would be dominated by high income students -- especially these days, when so much assortive mating has already taken place, and those individuals and families with potential for high IQ have mostly already made their way into the more affluent classes.

A number of people on this blog seem to imagine that The Bell Curve was strictly about race and ethnicity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Its greater focus was in fact on class.

The Bell Curve has sobering and rather depressing lessons for almost everyone.

Mercer said...

"Very few NAMs ever end up with power jobs at law firms, investment banks, in C-suite level management or consultancies."

The new financial law will change this.



"Section 342 (d), reproduced above. The "fair" employment test applies to all financial institutions, including brokers and law firms. Contracts are defined as "all contracts," including those dealing with debt, equities and securities. Federal Reserve regional banks might have to account for race and gender when they issue credit."

"With its new Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion, Dodd-Frank is radically changing existing law from anti-discrimination, namely equality of opportunity, to quotas, namely equality of outcome. Ultimately, the only way that financial firms will be able to comply is by showing that a certain percentage of their work force is female or minority."

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Race-and-gender-employment-quotas-hidden-in-financial-reform-98062949.html

Anonymous said...

Letters of recommendation are key to competitive college admissions. Admissions officers definitely need third party assessments of whether your kid is any good. And to get good letters, your kid needs to be known to teachers who are outstanding letter writers.

But if your kid attends Middle America High, all I can say is, good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

"Most likely some are already taking advantage of students overlooked by the Ivies because of their skin color."

About a year ago, I looked at where National Merit Scholars over the course of a few year cohorts went. There are about 15,000 NMSC finalists each year. Given that the PSAT (like the SAT) is highly g-loaded and basically an IQ test, even though the cutoff score varies somewhat from state to state, these 15,000 finalists probably represent 3/4ths (or at worst 3/5ths) of the smartest Americans in their birth year. In any given recent year, only around 1000 go to Ivies and a huge number go to State Universities (probably honors programs on scholarship). My hunch is that most of these NMSC finalists not going to elite private schools are non-elite, non-Old Line Protestant WASP white gentiles (e.g., non-Episcopalians, etc.).

Also, when I looked at the NLSY data a while ago ('97 NLSY), it appears that the only populations where virtually all 130+ IQ individuals don't get a BA are non-Hispanic white gentiles (14% don't get a degree) and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics (8% don't). Virtually all 130+ IQ Jews and Blacks get degrees.

It would be interesting to see what the chances of admission to elite universities are for similarly qualified Jewish, elite WASP, and non-elite white gentile students are. I suspect that they would be much better for the former two than the latter.

Anonymous said...

What we've seen in America is the emergence of a Winner's Class of people who, while they may endorse enthusiastically all the 1960s changes for other people, they don't actually follow them themselves. They don't have a child out of wedlock, they do get married, they stay married, they live amidst others like themselves, they send their kids to schools with the children of other people like themselves, and the wife often downshifts her career to invest more time in her children and in her husband's career.

IOW, a self-regulating Winner's Class that is smart enough to do all the right things, without coercion.

Truth(er) said...

So the reality is giving NAMs spots at prestigious university costs the white elite nothing, and is in the white elite's best interest - affirmative action makes the elite colleges even MORE elite by reducing the "real" slots available to white and Asian kids who might be able to leverage that education to improve their social mobility. In fact, a cynic might say that if blacks and latinos are not well prepared for those elite colleges when they get there, it works out even better for the white elite.

There is an easy way around this. Allow black and Latino students to sue universities if they are improperly matched to the respective degree programs. If Tyrone fails, then he has the right to sue Harvard University for wasting his time and money.

Again, why are we fighting a war on terror to make America safe for these people?

Anonymous said...

Affirmative action for all.

Steve Sailer said...

"IOW, a self-regulating Winner's Class that is smart enough to do all the right things, without coercion."

Right, but tends to keep it a secret what all the right things are.

Marc B said...

"Yeah. And by the way, this is precicely how it was during the heyday of the WASP elite."

Of course this was true, but this is still the case for white people from every ethnic group. Most whites acknowledge the blatent tribalism/insularity of other races yet still behave as if the prevailing US demographics of 1960 are still in place, and that we can be cutthroat amongst ourselves in a manner no other group exhibits because they function at an instinctual level, and are aware of how horrible of a clan survival strategy it is.

Anonymous said...

""IOW, a self-regulating Winner's Class that is smart enough to do all the right things, without coercion."

Right, but tends to keep it a secret what all the right things are."

...unless you pay $110/hr. I chatted with recent Harvard graduates at an alumni cocktail party who said they do admissions consulting on the side for both public and private high school students, and it can be very lucrative.

One guy said he was making so much doing this he quit his job at McKinsey to do it full time. He wouldn't tell me his success rate, but I'm guessing that if students get in, they give him glowing referrals but if they fail, they blame only themselves.

Whiskey said...

The alternative for smart White Male kids is either ROTC or the Academies, particularly those from rural areas, though that requires being in good with a Senator or Congressman.

Going to the Academies is fairly brutal, but as prestigious as Harvard, perhaps more so in some ways. Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama could have slid by with Gentlemen's Cs at their respective undergrad universities at the Academies.

ROTC is a lesser route, less prestigious, but does tend to get favored in B-School, Law School, and Med School Admissions and scholarships.

Of course the military is risky. You can easily get killed. Or maimed. But there it is.

Unspoken in Douthat's White Anxiety is the intrusion by Government into every aspect of life. Such as the BMI index on your electronic health records, quotas for employment in executive suites and management (fin reg overhaul). When Shirley Sherrod openly admits discriminating against White applicants -- and NAMs are far over-represented in Government (just check the EEOC website), and Government is the employer of only resort and has its hand in every aspect of ordinary Life -- for Joe Average White American that is not a comfortable situation to say the least.

Well, as Derbyshire practically predicted, its the end of White Guilt. Big Time.

Kylie said...

Anonymous said..."In any given recent year, only around 1000 [National Merit Scholars] go to Ivies and a huge number go to State Universities (probably honors programs on scholarship). My hunch is that most of these NMSC finalists not going to elite private schools are non-elite, non-Old Line Protestant WASP white gentiles (e.g., non-Episcopalians, etc.).


Your hunch is certainly correct in my case. From a modest background (second generation American--on my mother' side), went to a State University on a National Merit scholarship.

My paternal great-grandfather was a rural preacher in northern GA (yes, the southern end of Appalachia) and my maternal grandfather was Serbian Orthodox--both autodidacts and both about as far from the Frozen Chosen as you can get.

Anonymous said...

I found this to be another interesting piece of data in that report:

"Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student's chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis."

Bottom line is that admissions officers at Ivy League schools are well aware that they are effectively selecting the elites for the next generation, and it's not just the elites in D.C. and New York, but, to some degree, in all 50 states, in corporations all over, and in religious and philanthropic institutions of all stripes. They want that elite to be as liberal as possible, with all the right views on all the right subjects. That's why they ignore JROTC participants, and that's why they ignore poor whites, who are well aware of the fact that there is no such thing as white privilege.

Rich whites don't know many poor whites, and see their poverty of poor whites as proof of their moral inferiority. They see black poverty only as proof that they were held down by society.

Anonymous said...

Many, most, or all of the so-called "private" elite institutions actually receive more money from the government (in research grants) than many public institutions do. I recall once reading a suggestion that Congress tie the maximum amount of federal funding a university can receive to the average number of ROTC graduates it has over the previous X number of years. Thus, if you required 1 ROTC graduate for every $10 million in funding, a university receiving $200 million in federal funding would have to have averaged 20 ROTC grads each year over the last, say, 5 years.

Of course since colleges probably can't force certain admittees to enter and remain in ROTC they would have to use a shotgun approach by targetting students most likely to join - students from conservative states and families, from religious families, or with a military background, JROTC or Boy Scout experience.

If elite colleges chose not to do so they would ultimately watch their influence crumble as research talent moved away to institutions with greater access to federal funding.

The radical left has been using the government to forcibly re-shape our institutions for decades. If the right fails to push back it is ultimately doomed.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see a study about the effects of social engineering on average whites in lower-end jobs and schools. It's not a great loss to most people if Harvard is off limits, but when scholarships to lesser schools, middle management positions, decent jobs or deserved promotions are hard to come by because of race-based preferences, most people tend to get upset. I'd also say that the dumbing down of the schools that most lower income whites attend due to multiculturalism, bussing and desegregation doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long before National Merit Scholarships, originally funded by private companies to make Sputnik era students more competitive, get awarded by some combination of selection index and racial classification. Of course, this will require handing out more of them, since the Winner's Class will insist that their kids continue to receive them at the accustomed rate.

Then employers will discount these academic honors on resumes the way they now discount Harvard undergrad diplomas: Asian, IQ = 150; White, IQ=140; Hispanic, IQ = 125; Black, IQ = 115.

The Shyster said...

Want to help your kid get way ahead in the admissions arms race -- cheap?

File for a patent application. Think of the Patent Office as a sort of vanity press that no one really knows about. And you aren't going to tell them, are you?

If your kid is reasonably smart at age 16 he can come up with some trivial twist or tweak to an existing high-powered impressive patent at age 16.

You copy the patent application word-for-word and add your kids 2-4 paragraph tweak. Copy the kid's words into some of the claims. Copy the kid's words into the Abstract.

Your kid is not expected to WRITE a patent application. That is what lawyers do, right? So you are not unethically helping him, since a patent is not his verbal work product.

Copying entire patents (as long as you add some little inventive tweak that you have invented) is perfectly legal and acceptable. Patent attorneys never work from scratch.

Then file the patent application for $500.

Eighteen months later the US Patent and Trademark Office officially publishes the patent application (for no additional cash!) naming your kid as the inventor, which of course he absolutely, unquestionably, legally is. Trust me on this.

The admissions committee reads your kid's essay about being inventive (for example) mentioning his patent application, and they think your kid is God's gift to cryptography, physics, medicine, electrical engineering, or whatever.

Borrow a copy of "Patent It Yourself" (Nolo Press) from the library, spend a day reading it, search the US Patent and Trademark Office website for a good patent for your kid to "tweak" and go for it.

Of course if you REALLY want to have some fun, execute an assignment assigning the invention to the CIA (or NASA or Microsoft or Apple) and file it with the patent office for $40.

All of a sudden it is an electronically searchable public record that the CIA owns rights to your kid's invention.

Then when your kid describes his invention in his admissions essay he can say that "the CIA has all rights to the invention" and he will be telling the absolute, honest-to-God truth and the admissions folks can verify it instantly by getting on the web and looking at an official federal government website. If the admissions folks push him, he can just say, "Sorry, I really am not at liberty to talk about this."

Wouldn't that just knock their socks off? Don't you think it would be cheaper and more effective than p!ssing away a summer as a flunky gofer intern at some politician's office or battered woman's shelter with all the other uncreative clone eager beavers?

Of course, if the CIA ever wondered why someone gave them some patent for a cryptography method and then abandoned it, you can just tell them, "Kooky kid. Go figure. He wanted to do something good for his country. Turned out the invention wasn't so new and he dropped it."

Does the government ever complain when a little old lady bequeaths stuff to the government in her will? Of course not! So why should it bother the CIA ... or Microsoft, or Apple, or JPL, or NASA?

Remember kids, you heard it from The Shyster first. I gotta help my iSteve peeps if I can.

liberal biorealist said...

My guess is that you're full of shit, and you don't really know anything about statistics.

I suggest that you simply try to think through conceptually (and statistically) the very example I mentioned in my first comment.

Suppose (here I'm assuming that I am talking about white students):

1. Very, very few low income students score in the very upper reaches of the SAT (say, 780+ on both Critical Reading and Math), relative to high income students

2. Elite colleges admit some atudents (a fairly small, but not insignificant number -- 5%? 10%?) in the lower ranges of SAT (say in the 680 range) but that they tend to be the children of potential donors, or (rich) celebrities, or perhaps simply alumni.

3. There exist a sizable number of student applicants in the 680 range who are from lower middle class families

Then I claim that it is quite plausible that, controlling for SAT (and by extension academic merit in general), an affluent student is 3 times more likely to get into an elite college than a lower middle class student.

Why? Because in the region of relatively low SAT performance where lower middle class students might be found in real numbers, elite colleges give a break primarily to the high income kids, for the reasons I mentioned. These colleges do not extend this form of AA to lower middle class students. (Remember: controlling for SAT means that the analysis attempts to find out what happens when SAT scores match between higher and lower income students -- how does each class of student fare compared to the other?)

Now all this might be true even if, in the range of SAT at 780+, elite colleges actually give a break to lower middle class students. Why? Because statistics cares about numbers, and the number of students who score in that range who are also lower middle class is (by assumption) minuscule.

Now I'm not going to claim that all my assumptions here are necessarily true -- though they seem consistent with what I've read.

But my immediate point is that, conceptually, this is what a statistical argument might be expected to show.

And all of this is consistent with the possibility that, in fact, the numbers of lower middle class students who might get into the Ivies, even after correcting for any bias against them, may continue to be very small indeed. Only a fairly massive AA for them might do the trick of admitting them in substantial numbers.

And my overriding point is that simply quoting the statistic that affluent kids are three times more likely to get into elite colleges would distort this underlying reality.

Anonymous said...

Liberal biorealist wrote "so much assortive mating has already taken place, and those individuals and families with potential for high IQ have mostly already made their way into the more affluent classes.

A number of people on this blog seem to imagine that The Bell Curve was strictly about race and ethnicity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Its greater focus was in fact on class."
This is so fundamental that Steve's not addressing it makes me wonder if he really believes in hereditary IQ that determines achievement, or is it just a surrogate for race? Hereditary ability + opportunities for upward mobility for the gifted + university education for women -> permanent hereditary classes. Presumably dumber kids of elite parents carry some smart genes, but the parents will be able to make sure these kids don't fall out of the elite taking their genes with them.
If you don't like that future, Steve, what do you suggest we do about it?

Shyster: brilliant stuff. More please.

BamaGirl said...

"It's not a great loss to most people if Harvard is off limits, but when scholarships to lesser schools, middle management positions, decent jobs or deserved promotions are hard to come by because of race-based preferences, most people tend to get upset."

Although it certainly irks me that NAMs at my university qualify for the same scholarship I do with a significantly lower GPA/ACT score, I still don't think that scholarships to state schools in "flyover country" are hard to come by for intelligent whites. With a certain GPA and ACT score, excluding huge schools like UTexas-Austin and University of Florida, you get free tuition. And at lesser state schools (branch schools like UAH) they practically pay smart kids to go there and often provide them with a laptop. I mean some of you are starting to sound like the "NAMs", constantly talking about how everyone is out to keep you down. The truth is, most intelligent whites (including conservative ones) are in the middle or upper middle class. Thanks to assortative mating, it seems the last batch of people to move up the social ladder did so in the 70s/80s (like my mom and uncle did thanks to pell grants). Why do HBDers suddenly believe in the "untapped potential" of mediocre students who are probably products of broken families? I know there are exceptions, but most people who grow up in unfortunate situations end up exactly like their parents no matter what breaks they catch in life. HBD can't just ignore certain aspects of genetics while trumpeting others.

n/a said...

"Yeah. And by the way, this is precicely how it was during the heyday of the WASP elite."

Nope.

"It would be interesting to see what the chances of admission to elite universities are for similarly qualified Jewish, elite WASP, and non-elite white gentile students are. I suspect that they would be much better for the former two than the latter."

Holding all else equal, middle- and upper-middle-class kids have better odds of admission than upper-class kids. There's no indication "elite WASPs" are hoarding or receiving privilege. Espenshade:

Once again, an inverse U-shaped pattern between admission rates and social class is found for whites at private institutions, but the two arms of the "U" are much steeper than at public institutions. While middle- and upper-middle-class applicants to private schools have a substantially greater admission advantage over students from either end of the socioeconomic spectrum than do their counterparts who apply to public universities.

Only 5.8% of white students in the NSCE sample describe their backgrounds as "upper-class". The vast majority of students at highly-ranked colleges are upper-middle and middle.

n/a said...

liberal biorealist,

Your speculation does not address the boost received by low SES Asians and other nonwhites:

the admission advantage for students from lower-class family backgrounds is equiavalent to 130 SAT points. Working-class students receive a boost equal to 70 SAT points. The admission preference accorded to low-income students appears to be reserved largely for nonwhite students. For black, Hispanic, and Asian applicants to private NSCE schools, the likelihood of being admitted is greater for students from lower-class backgrounds (87 percent for blacks and 65 percent for Hispanics), on an all-other-things-equal basis.

You're right, however, that the absolute numbers are small. Only 0.7% of the white NSCE sample identify as lower-class, and 6.9% identify as working-class.

"(It's basically the same argument as with the Jews again -- high income whites being the Jews here.)"

IQ does not explain Jewish overrepresentation at elite colleges.

Peter A said...

we can be cutthroat amongst ourselves in a manner no other group exhibits

Ourselves? This is where the white elite doesn't agree with you. The white/Jewish?Asan coastal upper class does not identify with flyover whites. We are not the same group. In this sense it is very true that race is an illusion. Rememmber Steve's definition of a race - "a partly inbred extended family." Race does change over time as different groups of people inbreed. There is no biological imperative for white elites from New York to identify with people with white skin from Iowa. There's a very good chance that white gentile New Yorkers are pursuing a better survival stratey long term for their descendants by dumping lower IQ whites and allying themselves with high IQ Jews and Asians. At least their actions seem to indicate they believe this. Coastal elites are in the process of forming a new extended family - and flyover whites aren't going to be part of that family. I think at some level this realization is driving a lot of the Tea Party rage out there.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see any reason to think the man is ignorant of statistics."

On the contrary, I think that his argument depends greatly on his knowledge of statistics -- precisely to make his distorting argument.



So now you sre saying that he is deliberatley distoring the figures.

1) That's still a assumption.

2) You appear to have a signifcant emotional investment in believing that Espenshade is incorrect, whether by accident or design. Why is that? Why does it disturb you so much that our so-called metitocracy is not one?

Dahinda said...

Even if we are constantly told otherwise, there is more of a class war going on in this country than a race war.

Felix said...

I'm another National Merit Scholar who goes to a state school. Also had a 33 ACT. I'm an Eastern European immigrant who came here when I was 10 so I don't know where I would fit in this whole social spectrum battle we're talking about here.

Felix said...

Another point, I know a LOT of white dudes just in my university, University of Illinois at Chicago (I know, I know, but I'm here for the premed) who have ACT scores in the 32-34 range and are stuck at a crappy state school doing things like computer science or other kinds of engineering. I mean, UIC is a really crappy school rankings-wise. I wonder how many Jewish kids with IQs of 145 would end up NOT going to a top 15 school.

Anonymous said...

You guys do realize that National Merit Scholarships are not created equal?

The ones at state schools (and places like Carleton) are funded by the schools themselves, in order to get better students. Any Finalist can get one of these.

The hardest NMS to get ($2500 one time award) are funded by the NM corporation itself, and those are the only ones available at elite schools (e.g., Ivies, Caltech).

There are easily 10 "National Merit Scholars" of the easy type for every one of the elite type.

http://www.nationalmerit.org/nmsp.php#merit

Anonymous said...

BamaGirl

Although it certainly irks me that NAMs at my university qualify for the same scholarship I do with a significantly lower GPA/ACT score, I still don't think that scholarships to state schools in "flyover country" are hard to come by for intelligent whites.



I don't see the point of your dishonesty. Nobody is saying that intelligent but poor whites are stuck sweeping floors, so please leave that strawman alone.

What the data says is that whites who are poor but intelligent have considerable difficulty in getting into the top schools in the country.

This matters because the American ruling class comes overwhelmingly from the Ivies.


The truth is, most intelligent whites (including conservative ones) are in the middle or upper middle class.


The truth is, that's not relevant to the topic here, which is that "most intelligent whites" have difficulty in getting into the best schools. Have a look at the remarkable lack of non-Jewish whites at Harvard, for instance.

Felix said...

There are easily 10 "National Merit Scholars" of the easy type for every one of the elite type.

Not at all sure what you are talking about here. You become a national merit semifinalist when you score in the top half of the top 1% of all PSAT takers in your state.

Roughly 1.5 million high school juniors (out of ~4 million total juniors) across the country take the PSAT each year, and you'd have to assume that those 1.5 million are already pre-selected to some extent. The top scoring 16,000 become semi-finalists. There is no way around scoring in the 99.5th percentile if you want to get one of those, so I dunno what you're talking about it being easy.

Anonymous said...

"My hunch is that most of these NMSC finalists not going to elite private schools are non-elite, non-Old Line Protestant WASP white gentiles (e.g., non-Episcopalians, etc.)."

Almost right for me. Like another poster, I am second generation American who was awarded a National Merit Scholarship and chose not to attend an Ivy. But, unlike that person, I am Jewish. No matter the religion, however, white working class parents cannot afford schools such as Columbia (yes, I got in there, and Cornell too, but I was unwilling to take out the loans I would need to attend; also turned down Duke for the same reason).

Anonymous said...

For minority applicants, the lower a family’s socioeconomic position, the more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualification.




It's worth keeping in mind that this study includes Jews as whites. Given the Jewish over-representation at the Ivy League schools, a great many of the "upper-middle class whites" who are crowding out "lower-class white(s) with similar qualifications" must be Jewish.

Jews are represented in these colleges at a rate several times higher than their IQ alone would indicate they should.

Anonymous said...

IQ and "social networking" are not only the relevant traits here. There's also this thing called "ambition".

Anonymous said...

Felix wrote: "Not at all sure what you are talking about here. You become a national merit semifinalist when you score in the top half of the top 1% of all PSAT takers in your state."

I guess I can tell which type of "National Merit Scholar" you are :-)

The point is, out of the pool of candidates who are Finalists (yes, all score in the top .5 percent of the total population), only the very best will get the scholarship funded by the NM corp and which are portable. It is only these which can be used at, e.g., Harvard or Stanford. The top schools don't fund NM scholarships out of their own resources, because they don't need to. It's only the publics and lesser privates that do this, essentially paying to recruit better students.

At my high school there are typically 20 semi-finalists each year, but only a couple (i.e., the very best) get the real National Merit Scholarship.

You do realize the intelligence distribution extends far beyond the 99th percentile?

Anonymous said...

"They don't have a child out of wedlock, they do get married"

After they had a bunch of promiscuous sex and an abortion or 2.

Even if everyone did all the "right" things that would only make the competition more intense and most people would be your average workers worrying about their job being sent overseas.

Felix said...

I can't believe you're trying to tell me that there is a vast gulf that exists between the students who get the $2500(!) scholarship and those that don't. If we were talking about tens of thousands of dollars then this would be a given, but you'll actually have to prove your assertion
since the sum is more or less trivial.

My default belief is that the NMSC would assign these all but symbolic scholarships based on the more subjective parts of the candidate's profile rather than simply giving them out from the top scorer downward.

Anonymous said...

Felix: Do a little research on this. Don't you realize that essentially all of the admits to MIT and Caltech, and all of the serious academic admits at the Ivies and Stanford are well above the semi-finalist threshold? Yet only a fraction of even the serious students at those schools have National Merit Scholarships. It's because the threshold for the portable kind is very high.

I know exactly how this works because my HS produces 20 or more semifinalists per year. Only the very top kids at the school get the portable scholarship, and those kids are usually much much stronger than the average semifinalist. (Think SAT 2400, Intel finalist, USAMO vs top .5 percentile.)

So this business about Florida or Arizona or Carleton having a lot of NMS kids ("more than Harvard!") is just BS, because almost all academic admits at Harvard are way above top .5 percentile.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who castigated Felix:

It is you who don't know what you're talking about. Approximately 15,000 of the 16,000 Semifinalists become Finalists (basically by submitting SAT scores and high school transcripts that confirm their earlier PSAT performance and having their high school confirm that they’re not an axe murderer or drug kingpin, etc.). All Finalists receive a Certificate of Merit in recognition of their outstanding performance in the competition.

Of the 15,000 Finalists, about 8,200 receive Merit Scholarship awards. All Finalists are considered for one of the 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, which are awarded on a state representational basis. These are basically need-based. About 1,100 Merit Scholarship awards are provided by corporate sponsors for Finalists who meet criteria specified by the sponsor. Most of these awards are for children of the sponsor's employees (this was how I got mine), for Finalists living in a particular geographic area, or for Finalists who have career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These two types of awards can be used at any regionally accredited college or university in the US. There are also approximately 4,600 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who plan to attend a sponsor college (the Ivies and many other elite universities don’t offer these).

When I presented data about where National Merit Scholars go to university, I was writing about the 15,000 who received a Certificate of Merit, regardless of whether or not they took a scholarship. Only about 1000 of these students per year go to an Ivy. Given the class sizes of the 8 Ivies, the overwhelming majority of their students were not in the top 0.5% of PSAT takers. Felix was correct and you were not. Deal with it.

Here’s a link giving the numbers at each university that received the certificate of merit for 2007:
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/454412-national-merit-scholars-2007-schools-have-most.html

Even Harvard only had 285. MIT and Cal Tech had 138 and 36, respectively.

Anonymous said...

I think the original point was that, considering only White students, when it comes to admissions near the bottom of the test scores range (presumably = bottom of ability range) admitted, elite universities favor those with upper/upper-middle class parents.
This is rational. One criterion for an elite university is how their graduates do in their careers. For those who won't make it on ability, this depends greatly on contacts and knowing how to make contacts, and on social factors and behavior. There are a surprisingly large number of jobs where behaving like competent and successful people do is taken as evidence of competence and leads to success. Here class background is decisive. So universities that don't want many of their grads seen in mediocre careers will recruit their least-able students only from the children of elite parents.

Anonymous said...

How do you conclude that only 1k out of 15k Finalists go to elite schools? If you look at 75th percentile numbers at elite schools you will see they are at or near top .5 percentile (depending on the school). So basically all the academic admits (not the average admit -- that includes legacies, athletes and "leadership" types) at top schools are as strong as Finalists. (Actually, SAT is a better measure of ability than PSAT since the latter is shorter and taken earlier in a student's development.)

It's well known that the 2,500 NMS awarded by the corporation itself are the most competitive. They are not need based. I think you meant to say that the Ivies account for 1k of *those* NMS winners. (The 1.1k "other-corp" sponsored NMS awards I don't know much about.)

The numbers you linked to don't show the Finalists who attend an Ivy (or similar) but weren't awarded a portable (non-university funded) NMS. But if you read the whole thread you can see the commenters understand the difference between school-funded NMS (basically any Finalist who attends one of the schools pursuing this strategy) and the more elite (2.5k from the NM corp) NMS.

You might ask what happens to the "missing Finalists" since only 8k of them get NMS. Well, I suspect most of the remaining 7k are Finalists without an NMS because they attended an elite school, and they weren't good enough to get a portable NMS. You do understand that pretty much ANY Finalist who attends one of the state schools that sponsors NMS will get an NMS? So where are the 7k missing NMS recipients? Answer: enrolled at a top school, but without an NMS. This should convey to you how desirable it is to attend an elite school: many (most?) Finalists will turn down an NMS at their local state U in order to attend an elite. That's why elites don't have to spend their own resources funding NMS scholarships the way that weaker schools do.

I think the question you are interested in, and for which the NMS numbers are only a crude proxy, is: what fraction of the very best students end up at elite universities? If you put the cutoff at, for instance, 99.9 percentile (so, well above the Finalist cut-off), I would guess the top 20 prestige schools get at least half of that population. If you put the cut-off at USAMO, Intel Finalist level, it's probably more like 90 percent.

Anonymous said...

How do you conclude that only 1k out of 15k Finalists go to elite schools? If you look at 75th percentile numbers at elite schools you will see they are at or near top .5 percentile (depending on the school). So basically all the academic admits (not the average admit -- that includes legacies, athletes and "leadership" types) at top schools are as strong as Finalists. (Actually, SAT is a better measure of ability than PSAT since the latter is shorter and taken earlier in a student's development.)

It's well known that the 2,500 NMS awarded by the corporation itself are the most competitive. They are not need based. I think you meant to say that the Ivies account for 1k of *those* NMS winners. (The 1.1k "other-corp" sponsored NMS awards I don't know much about.)

The numbers you linked to don't show the Finalists who attend an Ivy (or similar) but weren't awarded a portable (non-university funded) NMS. But if you read the whole thread you can see the commenters understand the difference between school-funded NMS (basically any Finalist who attends one of the schools pursuing this strategy) and the more elite (2.5k from the NM corp) NMS.

(continued)

Felix said...

^^Exactly. It is amazing indeed how many of the national merit scholars go to no name state schools and liberal arts colleges. It really makes you wonder whether the Ivy kids are truly the best and brightest as far as pure brainpower goes or simply bright enough and "right."

The truth is, goy whites make up barely twice the number of black students at the ivy league despite having a population pool 5 times bigger. I doubt the reason for this is that jews and asians are just SOOOOOO much smarter that they take up virtually ALL the non-AA slots. lol.

Anonymous said...

I think the original point was that, considering only White students, when it comes to admissions near the bottom of the test scores range (presumably = bottom of ability range) admitted, elite universities favor those with upper/upper-middle class parents.



No, the study does not break out whites vs Jewish whites.

ATBOTL said...

"It's not a great loss to most people if Harvard is off limits..."

It matters that the people who founded the country, who still make up about 65% of the population, are about 20% of the students in the institutions that have become almost mandatory for the path that leads to elite leadership positions in government, media, law and finance.

It matters a lot.

JHB said...

@ liberal biorealist:

You wrote,

"I suggest that you simply try to think through conceptually (and statistically) the very example I mentioned in my first comment.

Suppose (here I'm assuming that I am talking about white students):

1. Very, very few low income students score in the very upper reaches of the SAT (say, 780+ on both Critical Reading and Math), relative to high income students..."


I suggest that you do research rather than speculating. My daughter had an SAT score in the top 700 single-sitting scores worldwide in her year group, a 790/790/800. She graduated as valedictorian with an unweighted 4.00 (much higher weighted, of course) from a well-respected private school. She had the appropriate athletic and extracurricular involvement, as well as competitive summer programs each year. She finished second-year calculus as a sophomore and continued her math education at a local college.

She was rejected at Harvard. She was also rejected at Cal Tech. Both are competitive schools, but if Harvard had selected strictly on test scores, she would've been in the top half of the class there.

Amazingly, she was rejected by Dartmouth, too. She was waitlisted at Bowdoin. She was waitlisted at Scripps. At Bowdoin or Scripps she would probably have had the highest SAT in her class...but she wasn't accepted.

We live in rural Virginia, and she was accepted at UVA as an Echols Scholar, so she'll be going to a competitive program with a reasonable opportunity for admission to top grad schools. I just find it striking that a rural white girl from a family with a comparatively modest six-figure income was rejected or waitlisted at every private school to which she applied, but accepted into the honors program at one of the most selective public schools in the nation. After some significant research into the issue, though, it struck me that we would have been eligible for a trivial amount of financial aid...perhaps making us "poor whites" from the perspective of elite private schools, schools that have plenty of very rich, very well-connected white applicants, enabling them to save their non-targeted slots (slots for students lacking a "hook," such as athletic ability, musical ability, legacy status, race, or ethnicity) for students from families more likely to offer greater donations as well as full tuition.

I consider the apparent prejudice against rural middle-class white students to be real. Your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

"the people who founded the country, who still make up about 65% of the population"

Taken literally, they'd be pretty old to still be students - slow learners, maybe. More seriously, do you mean Whites of British Protestant descent, or do you include the descendents of the mass immigration of unskilled labor from all over Europe that transformed the makeup of White America several generations after the Revolution?

OhioStater said...

The future in white America is the good looking vs the well educated.

Let's assume women typically seek sexier men for short term relationships. If thats true, most illegitimate kids are born to men with "alpha male" physical traits.

Kids born to "broken families" will be better looking, taller, and more athletic than kids born to nuclear families, and they will be more numerous.

I guess you can say r selected whites vs K selected whites. Who wins?

It's been observed two highly intelligent parents are more likely to have autistic children than average parents, implying the modern interpretation of intelligence resides on the autistic spectrum. This means K selected kids are more likely suffer social skills deficits common in engineers and computer programmers.

You cite in your article a lawyer and CFO power couple. Will their awkward kid win the game of life vs the handsome 6 foot 4 son of a waitress? We'll see...

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