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    #201672 - 09/22/14 11:18 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: mithawk]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: mithawk
    Originally Posted By: 22B
    I am very skeptical that it is used for social justice, and if anything, the opposite may be true, that they use it to intentionally favor some groups and disfavor others, at the expense of social mobility. An obvious way to do this is, while supposedly being "needs blind", to look for signals of ability to pay, which a lot of extracurricular activities are.

    I still favor the social engineering angle.

    There was a recent NY Times article on colleges that, among other things, showed the endowment per student (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/upshot/top-colleges-that-enroll-rich-middle-class-and-poor.html). Assuming this chart is accurate, there are 7 colleges (including 3 Ivies) that have endowments of around $1M per student. Given that college endowments have averaged real returns of about 7%, these 7 colleges could charge zero tuition if they chose to. But I believe college is a Veblen good, so there is no reason for them to offer a low price.

    Among the Ivies, Dartmouth follows with ~$650K/student, while Brown, Columbia, UPenn, and Cornell are "slumming it" with endowments between $250K - $350K per student. At $250K per student, Cornell could generate about $18K per student in financial aid without depleting its endowment, and that ignores all other sources of financial aid the student is eligible for. So for practical purposes, I do believe that the Ivies are truly "need blind". There are also 23 other non-Ivy colleges with endowments higher than the bottom 4 Ivy colleges, and these too can be considered completely "need-blind".

    This is a simple example. I understand that colleges choose to spend their endowment returns on many other things besides financial aid, but I think the "need-blind" status holds.

    There was actually a thread about that article here.
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post200440

    There are two different things that need to be distinguished: "need-blind" and "meets full need".

    "Meets full need" means that a student is charged what they can affford based on parent/student assets/income, or to be concrete, pays the FAFSA-EFC (where it is completely and universally understood that if you borrow $X then you are paying that $X (plus interest)). In fact, places like Harvard are even more generous than this to the poorest ninety percent of households. It is definitely true that there are several colleges that genuinely try to be affordable to almost everyone (if you can get in).

    "Need-blind" means that financial status is not a factor in admissions. This is what I am skeptical about. Even if the admissions people don't see the financial info, the applications will be full of signals of ability to pay, and the universities have a very obvious financial incentive to consider that. Of course there will be a correlation between academic ability and SES, so a statistical bias towards higher SES consistent with that correlation is completely justified, but if the statistical bias towards higher SES is even higher than that, then the "need-blind" claim should be called into question.

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    #201680 - 09/22/14 11:34 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1525
    Maybe it isn't about a harder test. Let's say that current perfect scores get you a group at a top school with IQs of 135+. Maybe it is 140+. With a different test, do you get 150+. But do you get a group that you want? Do they have the social skills to have a good mix, good clubs? There are factors that you want to have a certain type of school whether you are Harvard or Penn State. Harvard doesn't want a whole school that could pursue graduate work in Physics. They want fencing teams and rowing and a football team to play Yale. So for those of you wishing for a harder test, what does that mean to the student body, the college experience if you don't take into account all the other things. Because how much does it change if your roommate has an IQ of 175 in math, but 125 in ELA or 145 overall? I can see MIT wanting the 175 in math but Ivy's? Do you really want your kid going to a school where they just sit and have deep discussions about theories with other students?

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    #201686 - 09/22/14 12:18 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    But that assumes that those people are only interested in their peculiar "pointy" things. And that PG people lack social skills. Which is where my A versus B archetypes came from to begin with. Assume that they are BOTH HG+.

    HG+ people come in a lot of different varieties there.

    Just because someone has a FSIQ of 150+ doesn't mean that s/he is necessarily passionate about particle physics. It might mean that s/he is capable of learning it, but even that probably depends on the individual.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #201688 - 09/22/14 12:38 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Wren]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    I can see MIT wanting the 175 in math but Ivy's? Do you really want your kid going to a school where they just sit and have deep discussions about theories with other students?


    Yes. Whether it is a pick-up conversation at a coffee house about Nietzche, or a heated debated about string theory whilst raiding a dungeon, or quoting Shakespeare in the bleachers of some random sport. What would be a better alternative?

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    #201694 - 09/22/14 01:03 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Wren]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    Because how much does it change if your roommate has an IQ of 175 in math, but 125 in ELA or 145 overall? I can see MIT wanting the 175 in math but Ivy's? Do you really want your kid going to a school where they just sit and have deep discussions about theories with other students?

    Lots of IQ > 145 kids go to graduate school. If my children are that smart, I want them to meet even smarter kids, so as to discourage them from this endeavor, as happened to Jeff Bezos at Princeton (and Bill Gates when studying math at Harvard):

    Bezos on the big brains
    Quote:
    Jeff Bezos: Yeah. So, I went to Princeton primarily because I wanted to study physics, and it's such a fantastic place to study physics. Things went fairly well until I got to quantum mechanics and there were about 30 people in the class by that point and it was so hard for me. I just remember there was a point in this where I realized I'm never going to be a great physicist. There were three or four people in the class whose brains were so clearly wired differently to process these highly abstract concepts, so much more. I was doing well in terms of the grades I was getting, but for me it was laborious, hard work. And, for some of these truly gifted folks -- it was awe-inspiring for me to watch them because in a very easy, almost casual way, they could absorb concepts and solve problems that I would work 12 hours on, and it was a wonderful thing to behold. At the same time, I had been studying computer science, and was really finding that that was something I was drawn toward. I was drawn to that more and more and that turned out to be a great thing. So I found -- one of the great things Princeton taught me is that I'm not smart enough to be a physicist.

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    #201698 - 09/22/14 01:21 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Wren]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3288
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    Do you really want your kid going to a school where they just sit and have deep discussions about theories with other students?


    Where they just talk about big ideas? No. But I suspect that no one talks about nothing but big ideas, so the question is exaggerated.

    As for a place where talking about big ideas is a normal part of the culture, yes, absolutely. Isn't that supposed to be the point about being at a place that calls itself a top-tier university --- that the people there are very bright and interested in big ideas in science, philosophy, history, and so on?

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    #201703 - 09/22/14 02:07 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1525
    I put in "just" for a reason. All the other stuff about fencing and rowing and clubs got ignored. And, if the test were harder, maybe Jeff Bezos wouldn't have made it into Princeton. Maybe the guys were on the Harvard Lampoon wouldn't have made it in and wouldn't have been on the writing team of the Simpsons.
    I think the variety counts a lot.

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    #201724 - 09/22/14 09:05 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228

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    #202452 - 10/01/14 05:19 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Standardized tests are often criticized for favoring the children of the wealthy, but I think wealthy parents are better able to boost the extracurricular profiles (both real and on paper) of their children than their SAT scores.

    School spending by affluent is widening wealth gap
    By Josh Boak
    Associated Press
    September 30, 2014

    Quote:
    Wealthier parents have been stepping up education spending so aggressively that they're widening the nation's wealth gap. When the Great Recession struck in late 2007 and squeezed most family budgets, the top 10 percent of earners — with incomes averaging $253,146 — went in a different direction: They doubled down on their kids' futures.

    Their average education spending per child jumped 35 percent to $5,210 a year during the recession compared with the two preceding years — and they sustained that faster pace through the recovery. For the remaining 90 percent of households, such spending averaged around a flat $1,000, according to research by Emory University sociologist Sabino Kornrich.

    "People at the top just have so much income now that they're easily able to spend more on their kids," Kornrich said.

    The sums being spent by wealthier parents amount to a kind of calculated investment in their children. Research has linked the additional dollars to increased SAT scores, a greater likelihood of graduating from college and the prospect of future job security and high salaries.

    The trend emerged gradually over the past three decades but accelerated during the worst economic slump since the 1930s. Now, enrollments at pricier private schools are climbing. Parents are bidding up home prices in top public school districts. Pay is surging for SAT tutors, who now average twice the median U.S. hourly wage of $24.45. The patterns suggest that the wealth gap could widen in coming years, analysts say.

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    #202456 - 10/01/14 06:23 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Bostonian]
    thx1138 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/30/12
    Posts: 93
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and...school_and.html

    Quote:
    ...The second popular anti-SAT argument is that, if the test measures anything at all, it’s not cognitive skill but socioeconomic status. In other words, some kids do better than others on the SAT not because they’re smarter, but because their parents are rich. Boylan argued in her Times article that the SAT “favors the rich, who can afford preparatory crash courses” like those offered by Kaplan and the Princeton Review. Leon Botstein claimed in his Time article that “the only persistent statistical result from the SAT is the correlation between high income and high test scores.” And according to a Washington Post Wonkblog infographic (which is really more of a disinfographic) “your SAT score says more about your parents than about you.”

    It’s true that economic background correlates with SAT scores. Kids from well-off families tend to do better on the SAT. However, the correlation is far from perfect. In the University of Minnesota study of nearly 150,000 students, the correlation between socioeconomic status, or SES, and SAT was not trivial but not huge. (A perfect correlation has a value of 1; this one was .25.) What this means is that there are plenty of low-income students who get good scores on the SAT; there are even likely to be low-income students among those who achieve a perfect score on the SAT.

    Thus, just as it was originally designed to do, the SAT in fact goes a long way toward leveling the playing field, giving students an opportunity to distinguish themselves regardless of their background. Scoring well on the SAT may in fact be the only such opportunity for students who graduate from public high schools that are regarded by college admissions offices as academically weak.

    ...

    Given everything that social scientists have learned about IQ and its broad predictive validity, it is reasonable to make it a factor in decisions such as whom to hire for a particular job or admit to a particular college or university. In fact, disregarding IQ—by admitting students to colleges or hiring people for jobs in which they are very likely to fail—is harmful both to individuals and to society. For example, in occupations where safety is paramount, employers could be incentivized to incorporate measures of cognitive ability into the recruitment process. Above all, the policies of public and private organizations should be based on evidence rather than ideology or wishful thinking.

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