Let's Blow Up the Elite College Admissions Black Box: It's Roiling Young Lives, Rigged for the Rich, and Wrong for America (Paperback)

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You've heard of "need blind" college admissions, right? But "wealth blind" - not so much Once hailed as the pathway to social and economic advancement in America, the college admissions process has become the bulwark of entrenched privilege, crafted by a powerful coterie of a few super-selective elite colleges to advance their own economic interests above all else. Shrouded in commercial-grade secrecy, their admissions "black box" churns out entering classes with financial profiles that closely track our country's increasing income disparity, now at a 50-year high. Dozens of highly ranked colleges now enroll more students from the top 1% of families than the bottom 60%. This outcome is no accident. Their business models are laser-focused on attracting a majority of students from the wealthy and well-connected, using sophisticated marketing, data mining and networking that target rich zip codes and school districts; providing hidden preferences for legacies, donors' relatives and privileged athletes; and manipulating annual college selectivity rankings. They have also greatly expanded "early decision" admissions that lock in the rich while effectively excluding applicants who need financial aid. Efforts to attract disadvantaged students pale in comparison. The dominance of the elite black box admissions model contributes directly to unacceptable social, economic, and moral costs: unprecedented teen anxiety, depression, and suicide rates; bribery and corruption in donor-related admissions and standardized testing; and gridlock in social and economic mobility. It has also put an acute financial squeeze on colleges that lack local taxpayer support or vast endowments to match the most elite colleges' marketing machines. These adverse effects have been magnified by the awkward shift of college classes and admissions tests online forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has exposed a critical lack of broadband access among low income and minority families. Rather than offering yet another narrative on how to play the admissions game, this book proposes to change the game through a new "Transparency, Equity and Fairness in College Admissions Act." TEFCA would replace the black box, using federal financial leverage and legislative precedents reforming other rigged markets to mandate a radically new admissions model. It would require annual disclosure of baseline admission criteria, special preferences, and outcomes by socioeconomic group; decouple admissions from donations; ban coercive early decisions; and subsidize research into more equitable methods to assess student potential. TEFCA would also fund universal broadband to expand college access and fortify the finances of tuition-dependent private and public colleges already doing a better job of advancing upward mobility in America than more celebrated elite schools.

Product Details
ISBN: 9798652036003
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: June 25th, 2020
Pages: 376
Language: English