Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
This is hard, though, because in a low SES household, those hours may wind up being empty anyway, or filled with things that are... er... well, probably not suitable for academic consideration.

In low-SES household, though, many of those hours are filled with the kinds of things Bostonian (in a rare acknowledgement of the challenges faced by to those with low-SES, hat-tip to you, sir) described as being worthy of consideration by recruiters, namely employment and child care. I'd also add to those considerations adult care (because many families are impoverished because a potential wage-earner has a health issue preventing full-time employment) or any extraordinary challenges the child had to overcome in order to produce equivalent results. For instance, if a child had to take the bus to the public library and wait an hour for a computer to be freed in order to produce the same quality of work as someone who got to do it at home, as a recruiter, I'd want to know that.

And even if that candidate isn't using their free time to overcome extreme barriers (the neighbor lets them use the computer), earn money, or care for others, I would still want to know that they had a lot of free time, and spent it in ways that didn't involve criminal activity. Because that still tells me something valuable... one student works quickly and achieves a sufficient work/life balance, and the other one is exhausted trying to keep up. That second candidate is likely to end up in the office of the school psychologist by the end of the first quarter, and out of school by the end of the freshman year.