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Black, Latino Enrolment In US Colleges Is Almost Double What It Would Be On “Merit” Alone

Researchers wondered what the nation’s most selective colleges and universities would look like if they admitted students solely on the basis of SAT scores.

Their answer: Campuses would be wealthier, whiter, and more male.

Horror of horrors, we know, but there’s no arguing with the data from the Georgetown Universitry study. As The Wall Street Journal reports, rather shockingly to many, more than half the students now enrolled at the top 200 colleges and universities would lose their seats to students who performed better on the SAT.

The result, as the chart below shows, is that black and Latino students, would be worst-affected with enrolments cut nearly in half, to 11% of all students from 19%.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The share of Asian students would slip to 10% from 11%. The principal winners were wealthy white male students, whose ranks would increase. But a large number of white students would lose their seats and be replaced with other white students.

“The SAT does not and should not measure excellence on its own. Data are overwhelming that grades and test scores together better predict college success than either does alone,” a spokesman for The College Board said in a statement.

“Comprehensive research demonstrates that sustained commitment to an activity in high school outside of class further predicts success in college and beyond. Resourcefulness in response to challenges has long been honored in college admissions as a dimension of merit and success in life. A focus on a single score would leave so much talent unseen.”

So black and Latino college enrolment is almost twice what it would be based on “merit” alone, and this is before The College Board introduces its so-called “adversity score” to accompany a student’s SAT results.

All of which has us wondering, how long before well-off, so-called ‘advantaged’ families start moving into poor lower-class neighborhoods for just long enough to benefit from the adversity score… making it even easier to game the system for the wealthy? (Easier than paying off cheats to take SATs or bribing soccer and crew teams for entry).

Jeremy Frost summed this farce up best:

“Education by its nature is supposed to be elitist, the better you preform the greater your opportunities. This is just madness, it undermines the entire point of selective admission to institutions of higher education.”

This unbelievable factor in the college admission process discriminates against hard-work and true academic achievement when America, as a nation, is rapidly sliding down the global scale of intelligence as it is.

As The Council of Foreign Relations detailed, among people ages 55 to 64, Americans rank first in the percentage who’ve earned high school degrees and third in those who’ve earned college and graduate degrees. But Americans ages 25 to 34 only rank 10th in the world in high school diplomas, and they’ve dropped to 13th in attaining post-secondary degrees.

U.S. vs. Global Education Attainment Rankings by Age

It’s not that 25-to-34-year-olds are less educated than boomers: 88 percent of them earned high school diplomas, compared with 90 percent of boomers, and they actually managed a tiny edge – 42 percent to 41 percent – in post-secondary degrees. The real problem is that they’re slipping in relation to their global counterparts.

Paradoxically, younger Americans are entering college at a higher rate – 70 percent – than the boomer generation managed. In 1970, only 48.4 percent of high school graduates went on to higher education, according to a study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Applied Economics. But that edge is negated, because fewer than half of today’s students manage to stay in school and earn degrees, a slightly lower completion rate than boomers.  

Finally, one wonders if the graduation rate is going to be monitored between the high and low student’s adversity scores? If not, why not? It would seem that without such information no valid evaluation of the program can be made. And as Mark Soane concludes:

The SAT was the last bastion of objective measurement in the sea of subjectivity that makes up a college application.  It is profoundly disappointing to see that the SAT is now subject to the same identity politics bias that everything else is in college admissions.  The SAT and the ACT were the best predictors of college preparedness. 

If you debase the results, you will get one or all of the following:  higher dropout rates; debased teaching standards, resentment and distrust among students.”

Lawsuits charging unfair admission practices have also been filed against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California system.

How do we look our kids in the eyes, urge them to work their hardest, study endlessly, never stop trying because that’s what counts in America… and then apologize for reducing their chance of making it to their dream school by daring to live in a low-crime, low-poverty, high-cost, two-parent home.

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About The Author

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge's mission is to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public, to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become, to liberate oppressed knowledge, to provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint and to facilitate information's unending quest for freedom. Visit

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