COLLEGE & THE PRIVILEGED POOR

April 13, 2019 at 5:00 am

Find out how and why disadvantaged students are struggling at elite colleges, and what those schools can do differently to help those students thrive.

Aired on 12, 2019. 

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>>> WHEN AN FBI INVESTIGATION
HATED BARE AN ALLEGED SCHEME BY
SOME HOLLYWOOD AIMLESS
CELEBRITIES, BUSINESS EXECUTIVES
AND OTHER WEALTHY INDIVIDUALS TO
PAY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS TO
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO GET THEIR
CHILDREN INTO EHEAT COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITIES, MANY FELT OUTRAGE
AND BETRAYAL.
NOW, HARVARD ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
ANTHONY JACK IS SHEDDING EVEN
MORE LIGHT ON THIS ADMISSIONS
SCANDAL AND ITS LOP-SIDED
PRACTICES.
THE PROFESSOR'S NEW BOOK IS THE
PRIVILEGED CORE.
HOW ELITE COLLEGES ARE FAILING
DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS.
HE JOINS ME NOW WITH INSIGHTS
INTO THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
>> THANK YOU.
>> FIRST, THE PRIVILEGED, THE
TITLE OF THE BOOK GETS AT THE
MISUNDERSTANDING THAT I THINK A
LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE WHEN IT COMES
TO NOT ONLY LOW INCOME STUDENTS
BUT IT TENDS TO BE SYNONYMOUS
WITH STUDENTS OF CHORE, GETTING
INTO ELITE UNIVERSITIES.
WAS THAT INTENTIONAL?
>> IT IS.
THE PRIVILEGED POOR IS MY
MOTI
MOTIVATION.
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT LOW INCOME
STUDENTS, YOU DON'T THINK ABOUT
DEER FIELD, ANDOVER.
THESE ELITE SCHOOLS THAT COST
OVER $50,000 A YEAR FOR HIGH
SCHOOL.
THIS IS WHERE LOWER INCOME
STUDENTS ARE GOING THANKS TO A
BETTER CHANCE, THE WIGHT
FOUNDATION, W-I-G-H-T.
YOU HAVE TO SAY IT.
THESE PROGRAMS PUT LOWER INCOME
STUDENTS IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
AND THEY'RE AT AN ECONOMICAL
DISADVANTAGE.
THEY COME FROM SINGLE PARENT
HOUSE HOLDS, LIVES IN SUBSIDIZED
HOUSING.
BUT THEY HAD ACCESS TO THE ELITE
ENVIRONMENTS.
THEY STUDIED ABROAD IN HIGH
SCHOOL.
THEY'VE BEEN TAUGHT BY Ph.D.s.
THEY'RE PRIVILEGES IN THE SENSE
OF HOW MUCH ACCESS THEY HAVE TO
CULTURAL CAPITAL.
THE WAYS OF BEING.
THE COLLEGE OF VALUE.
AND I WANTED TO PUT IT TOGETHER.
I WANT PEOPLE TO ASK THE
QUESTION.
HOW CAN SOMEONE BE BOTH
PRIVILEGED AND POOR?
I WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND
THAT'S PART OF THE FIRST
GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS.
>> YOU TALK ABOUT THE ACADEMIC
ASPECT OF IT.
WHAT DOES THE SOCIAL IMPACT
HAVE?
HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THEM?
SOMETIMES COMING AS AN OUTSIDER.
IT CAN BE DAUNTING.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
IT IS IMPORTANT.
WHAT I'M SAYING IS WHAT WE HAVE
ASSOCIATED WITH CULTURE SHOCK
AND GOING TO COLLEGE, THOSE
STUDENTS EXPERIENCED THAT IN
THEIR FRESHMAN YEAR OF HIGH
SCHOOL.
AND WHAT'S IMPORTANT ABOUT THAT
IS, I ACTUALLY ARGUED THAT IT IS
THE SOCIAL UNDERCURRENT OF ELITE
INSTITUTION THAT'S ARE THE
BIGGEST HURDLES.
THE EXAMPLE THAT I USE ALL THE
TIME IS OFFICE HOURS.
IF YOU'VE NEVER BONE A COLLEGE
CAMPUS, IF YOUR PARENT DID GO TO
COLLEGE, YOU'VE PROBABLY NEVER
HEARD THE TERM OFFICE HOURS
BEFORE.
IT IS THROWN AROUND CAMPUS
WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION.
PROFESSORS SAY MY OFFICE HOURS
ARE WEDNESDAY, 2:00 TO 4:00.
FULL STOP.
THEY DON'T SAY WHAT OFFICE HOURS
ARE.
THEY DON'T GO THE EXTRA HOURS OF
EXPLAINING HOW THIS VERY, VERY
CLASS TERM IS REALLY THE GATEWAY
TO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION,
INTERNSHIPS, INTRODUCTIONS TO
DIFFERENT PEOPLE LIKE HEAD
HUNTERS AND DIFFERENT RESUME
HELP.
SO WE HAVE A LOT OF TAKEN FOR
GRANTED ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT WHAT
STUDENTS KNOW AND ARE
COMFORTABLE WITH BECAUSE WE HAVE
IT BASED UPON WEALTHY STUDENTS.
WE ARE SO USED TO EDUCATING
THEM.
>> AND IT IS NOT JUST GETTING
IN.
IT IS HAVING THE SUPPORT
NETWORK.
>> IS THIS SOMETHING THAT YOU
ARE SEEING WITH THESE STUDENTS
YOU'RE LOOKING AT WITH YOUR
BOOK?
SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE
EXPANDED MORE ON A NATIONAL
STAGE?
OR IS IT A MATTER OF IMPROVING
THE LEVEL OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
THAT KIDS ARE GETTING, PERIOD,
SO SOME OF THESE UNDERSTANDINGS
JUST BECOME UBIQUITOUS ACROSS
THE COUNTRY?
>> MORE THE LATTER.
PUTTING POOR STUDENTS INTO
PRIVATE SCHOOLS, THAT'S
ABDICATING RESPONSIBLE.
WHAT RESEARCH SHOWS TO ME, THE
LARGER STORY, WHEN YOU GIVE
LOWER INCOME STUDENTS THE
RESOURCES OF THE TOP 1% PEERS,
THEY DO JUST AS WELL.
THEY MAKE USE OF THE CAREER
CENTER, STUDY ABROAD, MENTAL
HEALTH SERVICES WHICH WE SHOULD
ELEVATE INTO OUR CONVERSATION
AND PUT THEM ON THE SAME
PEDESTAL.
ARE YOU TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF
SO YOU HAVE THE ENERGY.
I WANT US TO NOT JUST GRADUATE
BUT WHOLE AND HEALTHY FOR THE
NEXT ADVENTURE.
>> OF COURSE.
THIS IS REALLY A CAPTIVATING
BOOK.
IT SOUNDS LINING IT IS FOCUSED
AROUND A SIMPLE THING OF PEOPLE
RISING TO THE OCCASION THAT YOU
PRESENT THEM WITH.
>> ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I TALK
ABOUT IS FOOD INSECURITY.
THE ONE THING WE THINK ABOUT
WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS, OKAY,
YOU'RE ALL OKAY.
YOU'RE GOOD WHEN YOU GET TO
CAMPUS.
WHEN TWO OUT OF FIVE STUDENTS
ACROSS THE NATION FACE FOOD
INSECURITY, NOT KNOWING WHERE
THEIR NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM,
WITH STUDENTS ACROSS DIFFERENT
GROUPS.
IT IS NOT JUST LOWER INCOME
STUDENTS WHO SUFFER.
ALSO STUDENTS WHO ARE IN THE
FOSTER CARE SYSTEM, STUDENTS ARE
ARE QUEER, WHO HAVE NOT GOT
THEIR FAMILY WHEN THEY GO OFF TO
SCHOOL.
EVEN THOUGH I STUDY LOWER INCOME
STUDENTS, THE IMPACT IS FAR
BEYOND.
THAT IT IS NOT JUST THE SHEER
MAGNITUDE BUT THE NATURE OF IT
ON SPECIFIC CAMPUSES.
ON THE CAMPUSES THAT I STUDY.
WE SEE FOOD INSECURITY HAPPENING
AROUND BREAKS, SPRING BREAK,
WINTER BREAK.
WE ASSUME ALL STUDENTS GO HOME
FOR FUN IN THE SUN.
WHAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE A HOME TO
GO HOME TO?
WHAT IF HOME AND HARM ARE
SYNONYMOUS?
BEING FORCED TO GO HOME FOR
SPRING BREAK.
MOST COLLEGES SHUT DOWN AND
THOSE THAT ARE OPEN CHARGE
STUDENTS A DAILY RATE TO EITHER
STAY IN THEIR ROOM OR THE ROOM
OF THEIR PEERS WHO ARE ON
VACATION.
THINK ABOUT WHAT THAT DOES TO
SOMEBODY.
THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT WHERE
THEIR NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM
AND THEIR UNIVERSITY IS CHARGING
THEM A DAILY RATE TO STAY ON
CAMPUS.
THESE ARE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS
ON WHY PEOPLE CAN'T RISE TO THE
OCCASION.
>> LISTEN, I WANT TO THANK YOU
SO MUCH FOR THIS BOOK.
FOR GIVING US A DIFFERENT WAY TO
THINK ABOUT, ESPECIALLY HOW WE
CONSIDERED NOT JUST EDUCATION
BUT HIGHER EDUCATION.
HOW WE HIRE PEOPLE TRYING TO
CLIMB UP THE LADDER.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> ABSOLUTELY.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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