Saturday, October 16, 2010

How Diversity Punishes Asians and Poor Whites

From Princeton Professor Russell K. Nieli's article "How Diversity Punishes Asians, Poor Whites and Lots of Others":

"A new study by Princeton sociologists Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Radford is a real eye-opener in revealing just what sorts of students highly competitive colleges want -- or don't want -- on their campuses and how they structure their admissions policies to get the kind of "diversity" they seek. The study draws from a new data set, the National Study of College Experience (NSCE), which was gathered from eight highly competitive public and private colleges and universities (entering freshmen SAT scores: 1360). Data were collected on over 245,000 applicants from three separate application years, and over 9,000 enrolled students filled out extensive questionnaires.

Consistent with other studies, though in much greater detail, Espenshade and Radford show the substantial admissions boost, particularly at the private colleges in their study, which Hispanic students get over whites, and the enormous advantage over whites given to blacks. They also show how Asians must do substantially better than whites in order to reap the same probabilities of acceptance to these same highly competitive private colleges. On an "other things equal basis," where adjustments are made for a variety of background factors, being Hispanic conferred an admissions boost over being white equivalent to 130 SAT points (out of 1600), while being black rather than white conferred a 310 SAT point advantage. Asians, however, suffered an admissions penalty compared to whites equivalent to 140 SAT points.

The box students checked off on the racial question on their application was thus shown to have an extraordinary effect on a student's chances of gaining admission to the highly competitive private schools in the NSCE database. To have the same chances of gaining admission as a black student with an SAT score of 1100, an Hispanic student otherwise equally matched in background characteristics would have to have a 1230, a white student a 1410, and an Asian student a 1550.

At private institutions whites from lower-class backgrounds incurred a huge admissions disadvantage not only in comparison to lower-class minority students, but compared to whites from middle-class and upper-middle-class backgrounds as well. The lower-class whites proved to be all-around losers. When equally matched for background factors (including SAT scores and high school GPAs), the better-off whites were more than three times as likely to be accepted as the poorest whites (.28 vs. .08 admissions probability). Having money in the family greatly improved a white applicant's admissions chances, lack of money greatly reduced it. The opposite class trend was seen among non-whites, where the poorer the applicant the greater the probability of acceptance when all other factors are taken into account. Class-based affirmative action does exist within the three non-white ethno-racial groupings, but among the whites the groups advanced are those with money.

When lower-class whites are matched with lower-class blacks and other non-whites the degree of the non-white advantage becomes astronomical: lower-class Asian applicants are seven times as likely to be accepted to the competitive private institutions as similarly qualified whites, lower-class Hispanic applicants eight times as likely, and lower-class blacks ten times as likely. These are enormous differences and reflect the fact that lower-class whites were rarely accepted to the private institutions surveyed. Their diversity-enhancement value was obviously rated very low.

Poor Non-White Students: "Counting Twice"

The enormous disadvantage incurred by lower-class whites in comparison to non-whites and wealthier whites is partially explained by Espenshade and Radford as a result of the fact that, except for the very wealthiest institutions like Harvard and Princeton, private colleges and universities are reluctant to admit students who cannot afford their high tuitions. And since they have a limited amount of money to give out for scholarship aid, they reserve this money to lure those who can be counted in their enrollment statistics as diversity-enhancing "racial minorities." Poor whites are apparently given little weight as enhancers of campus diversity, while poor non-whites count twice in the diversity tally, once as racial minorities and a second time as socio-economically deprived. Private institutions, Espenshade and Radford suggest, "intentionally save their scarce financial aid dollars for students who will help them look good on their numbers of minority students."

HT: Andrew Biggs


At 10/16/2010 5:27 PM, Blogger juandos said...

This bit on 'divrsity' makes me wonder how much of that PC driven segregation keeps males out of college because they don't want to deal with the BS?

At 10/16/2010 5:52 PM, Blogger frankania said...

Well, the answer is simple. Simply put "black" as the response on all applications. After all, what is the definition of black? We all have some "black" genes, since humans evolved in Africa, no?

If any institution gives you any trouble, start screaming

At 10/16/2010 8:58 PM, Blogger Michael Hoff said...

I wonder how much longer lower-class whites are going to keep pulling the D lever in the voting booth. Probably forever. Because liberals really care about the poor, you see.

At 10/17/2010 4:45 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education
First Year Enrollments of African-Americans at the Highest Ranked Universities, Fall 2008

The data include "black percentage of first year class," which is 7% to 8%, although the U.S. black population is 12%.

Recent trends in Black higher education

"The pool of highly competitive, academically-prepared African-American high school students has grown significantly (over time)...and the majority of these black students are drawn from these relatively privileged households."

At 10/17/2010 7:29 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Isn't funny how the drive to eliminate racism has only resulted in more of it.

At 10/17/2010 11:40 AM, Blogger Bruce Hall said...

But there is diversity.

At 10/17/2010 2:07 PM, Blogger Chris Matheson said...

I actually had the pleasure of watching a 'white' student challenge a financial aid representative to "prove it" when the representative challenged the student's selection of African-American ethnicity on the financial aid form. The student was escorted to an office, so I did not have the satisfaction of seeing this scenario resolved.

At 10/17/2010 4:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Apparently there are now more federal funds for the 'intellectually challenged' than for others as this apparently approving AP story shows us: More intellectually disabled youths go to college

At 10/23/2010 10:03 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I love the last line of juandos' article on "intel disad students in college", they list a bowling class. Bowling? My gut (easy)course in an engineering curriculum was Shakespeare.


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