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The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite colleges--and Who Gets Left outside the Gatesby Daniel Golden
Synopses & Reviews
Every spring thousands of middle-class and lower-income high-school seniors learn that they have been rejected by America's most exclusive colleges. What they may never learn is how many candidates likethemselves have been passed over in favor of wealthy white students with lesser credentials-children of alumni, big donors, or celebrities.
In this explosive book, the PulitzerPrize-winning reporter Daniel Golden argues that America, the so-called land of opportunity, is rapidly becoming an aristocracy in which America's richest families receive special access to elite highereducation-enabling them to give their children even more of a head start. Based on two years of investigative reporting and hundreds of interviews with students, parents, school administrators, and admissionspersonnel-some of whom risked their jobs to speak to the author--"The Price of Admission" exposes the corrupt admissions practices that favor the wealthy, the powerful, and thefamous.
In "The Price of Admission," Golden names names, along with grades and test scores. He reveals how the sons of former vice president Al Gore, one-time Hollywood power brokerMichael Ovitz, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist leapt ahead of more deserving applicants at Harvard, Brown, and Princeton. He explores favoritism at the Ivy Leagues, Duke, the University of Virginia, and Notre Dame, among other institutions. He reveals that colleges hold Asian American students to a higher standard than whites; comply with Title IX by giving scholarships to rich women in "patrician sports" likehorseback riding, squash, and crew; and repay congressmen for favors by admitting their children. He also reveals that Harvard maintains a "Z-list" for well-connected but underqualified students, whoare quietly admitted on the condition that they wait a year to enroll.
"The Price of Admission" explodes the myth of an American meritocracy-the belief that no matter what yourbackground, if you are smart and diligent enough, you will have access to the nation's most elite universities. It is must reading not only for parents and students with a personal stake in college admissions, but also for those disturbed by the growing divide between ordinary and privileged Americans.
"From the Hardcover edition."
About the Author
Daniel Golden is Deputy Bureau Chief at the Boston bureau of The Wall Street Journal, where he has covered education since 1999. Previously, he was a reporter at the Boston Globe. The recipient of numerous journalistic honors and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award, he holds a B.A. from Harvard College. He lives with his wife and son in Belmont, Massachusetts.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
Introduction : the Tennessee waltz — How the "z-list" makes the a-list : Harvard's payback for big donors — Recruiting the rich : development admits at Duke — The fame factor : celebrity children at Brown — Enduring legacies : Notre Dame's other tradition — Title IX and the rise of the upper-class recruited athlete : fencing, crew, and polo scholarships — A break for faculty brats : free and easy entry for the children of professors — The new Jews : Asian Americans need not apply — The legacy establishment : taking on Congress and the higher education lobby — The challenge of wealth-blind admissions : how Caltech raises standards--and donations — Ending the preferences of privilege : suggestions for reform.
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Education » Higher Education