Saturday, April 10, 2021

Scoop: Open up the Ivy’s

By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor

Here’s an idea I’m sure everyone will agree with. “Elite colleges should fight for social justice by helping to educate poor kids,” headlined an article written by Matthew Yglesias I came upon via Twitter.

It showed a chart indicating that 67% of the students at Harvard have a median family income in the nation’s top 20%. At Princeton it’s 72%. At the University of Pennsylvania, 71%.

Yet these Ivy League and other elite colleges and universities are America’s “woke” hotbed, railing against income inequality and the privileged class.

Nothing makes a person more privileged than a degree from an elite college. You’ve won the lottery. It’s a ticket to great career opportunities, a network of well-placed alumni, elevated chance to make a fortune or achieve power and influence in whatever realm suits you. It sets the graduate up for life.

Frequently the people who attend such great colleges also went to the top prep schools or best urban/suburban public schools. Some start climbing the prep ladder at kindergarten. And mostly they’re already the children of college graduates, maybe even Ivy Leaguers themselves.

Talk about the privileged getting more privileged, the rich getting richer!

So here’s my idea. Stop filling Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Williams, Amherst and even my alma mater Wesleyan with people who are practically born on third base.

Instead, admit only kids whose parents did not go to college. Give them the leg up and lifelong advantage that a Prestige U. degree confers.

As I say, I’m sure everyone will agree this is an equity idea. Open the doors exclusively to kids whose families haven’t been there before. Great things will result. I’m sure the woke advantaged will be gung ho for the change.

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