My VDARE.com column:
April 01, 2007
Thoughts On College Fools' Day
By Steve Sailer
April Fools' Day is the traditional deadline for American colleges to mail out to applicants their letters of acceptance (thick) or rejection (thin).
The admissions process has been more frenzied than ever this year. Harvard has rejected an unprecedented 91 percent of its record 23,000 applicants. Remarkably, more than 3,000 Harvard wannabes were ranked first in their high school class. The university probably turned down over half of these valedictorians.
Many other elite colleges also saw new highs in applications received. This is due both to the growing convenience of applying to multiple colleges using the Common Application website, and to the ever-growing national (and even global) competition among students to attend a prestigious American college.
College administrations spend vast amounts of money recruiting top high school students. The administrators know that the surest way to acquire smarter, harder-working alumni, who can afford to donate more money to the old alma mater, is to bring in smarter, harder-working freshmen in the first place.
Doing a better job of recruiting is much more likely to have a sizable payoff than trying to do a better of job of, well, educating the kind of students you already get. …
One curious aspect of the college craziness: the seeming self-contempt with which white students at many elite colleges derisively refer to the predominantly white makeup of their schools' student bodies.
Take the Princeton Review's Best 361 Colleges guidebook, which summarizes students' opinions of their schools. An undergrad at well known little Colorado College in Colorado Springs, a school that is only two percent black, declares: "The typical Colorado College student is white and from an upper-middle-class home in a metropolitan suburb, but wishes this weren't true …" It's common for students quoted in Best 361 Colleges to lament the lack of ethnic diversity on their campuses, and to call for their administrations to do more to bring in minorities.
Is this the much discussed (but surprisingly little observed) phenomenon of White Guilt? Or is something else going on?