Monday, December 31, 2007

The Ivy League and the IIlusion of Accessbility


Buried in Businessweek online late November was
an article on
the amount of wealth owned by Ivy League schools.

I didn't find the articles interesting per se, UNTIL I noticed a
series of articles being ran The Times in December about
how HYP are offering reduced and or no loan tuition to
families with incomes between $120 and $180K.

.....America's public institutions of higher learning, which educate 75% of the country's college students. While the Ivies, which account for less than 1% of the total, lift their spending into the stratosphere, many public colleges and universities are struggling to cope with rising enrollments in an era when most states are devoting a dwindling share of their budgets to higher ed.....
Talk about the illusion of accessibility.

I thought about how, as of 2001, 1% of the population owns 34%
of the wealth.
By wealth I mean, homes and businesses, stocks,
real estate.
Not cars and rims.
In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2004).
Please notice that 1% wealth ownership and the 1%
being educated by the Ivy Plus. Correlation?

It would be great to see an analysis of how much
property Black folks could potentially own if we received
loans with interest rates comparable to our white counterparts,
and if we re allocated our spending on clothes and cars
to homes and mortgages.

F*ck being rich, I'm wealthy.

Back to the illusion of admission.

Reading these articles, if I were a junior or senior in high school
I would probably get all warm and fuzzy
inside with my Model Minority prep school credentials, 3.5 gpa.

But. Here is the rub.

According to Peter Schmidt,
author of Color and Money: How
Rich White Kids Are Winning the War over College Affirmative
30% of positions are guaranteed for legacy admits,
the children of the politically connected and when applicable athletes.

Leaders at many selective colleges say they have no choice but to instruct their admissions offices to reward those who financially support their institutions, because keeping donors happy is the only way they can keep the place afloat. They also say that the money they take in through such admissions preferences helps them provide financial aid to students in need.

But many of the colleges granting such preferences are already well-financed, with huge endowments. And, in many cases, little of the money they take in goes toward serving the less-advantaged.
Bear in mind that Schmidt's research revealed that approximately
30% of admitted students had SAT scores and grades lower than
what the US NEWS and WORLD REPORT would tell you is necessary
to get into these schools.

Thus the illusion of accessibility.

While researching this post, I came across the encyclopedia of
American Wealth. NICE.

I find this to be a really accessible analysis of wealth as well.


What would it take to teach low income folks about
the importance of home ownership?

If you got into Harvard, would you go, even if it meant six figure

Why don't we have a fundamental understanding of rich vs. wealthy?



Aunt Jackie said...

Affirmative Action has only meant that the white boy and his kids get the Lion's Share of what's good in this county.

Many of my Ivy League friends made the debt but made it back by having an amazing careers. I don't know anyone who regrets their Ivy League Education, loans and all.

You can't really start with rich vs wealthy when abject poverty is still prevalent and the number of homeless kids attending school is steady growing.

M.Dot. said...

You can't really start with rich vs wealthy when abject poverty is still prevalent and the number of homeless kids attending school is steady growing.

The abject poverty is a necessary piece of the American wealth puzzle.

American wealth presumes that there will be a low skilled underclass.

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