7.8.17

DON'T GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS.

Brian Joondeph proposes, I think with tongue in cheek, that college admissions criteria mimic those used for immigration.
Colleges have admissions requirements. In other words, their admission is skill-based with a point system reflecting grades, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, accomplishments, recommendations and a language proficiency test in the form of one or more essays. Suppose colleges waived all such requirements and opened their classrooms to any and all who wanted to attend?
That's kind of how it works once you get away from the hundred or so institutions claiming to be in the U. S. News top ten, but I digress.  But where immigration is all about reuniting families, there might be analogues in higher education admission.
Why not for Harvard too? Buffy is admitted to the incoming freshman class. She is a straight A student with exceptional board scores. She was captain of the lacrosse and softball teams. She started a small business while in high school, sold it to Google, used the proceeds to fund an AIDS treatment clinic in Africa, and in her spare time tutors the homeless. Her college essay was published in The Atlantic. On the point system, she was a slam dunk admission.

Her brother Biff, on the other hand, flunked 10th grade, never took the SATs, spent 6 months in jail for larceny, has a cocaine problem, and is Hepatitis C positive. Shouldn’t he automatically be admitted to Harvard by virtue of being Buffy’s brother? Suppose Biff is married to Candy, who he met in a Vegas strip club. Candy started working in the adult industry after 9th grade. She is quite accomplished and skillful, but not in the way Harvard admissions committees prefer. She would automatically be admitted along with Biff.

As would her mother Tiffany, only 14 years older than Candy, working as a waitress, believing that a Harvard degree would improve her lot in life. Once Tiffany is at Harvard, she can bring her brother Billy Bob, currently working in a Mississippi junkyard. And so on and so on.
I suspect the intersectionality types could fill up hundreds of screens with lines and lines of pomo-babble on just how wrong the above is, or how awful it is that there is, like, no way Biff is going to find himself in that pass, because privilege, and thus unlikely to encounter Candy in Vegas, although he might take liberties with her at a lacrosse team party.

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