March 9, 2011

Why college admissions favor legacies and jocks

From the LA Times:
The University of Southern California will announce Wednesday its largest donation ever, a $200-million gift from alumnus David Dornsife, the chairman of a large steel fabricating company, and his wife, Dana. The Dornsifes' donation will go to USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the university's biggest academic unit, without restrictions on how it should be spent. ...

A USC business major who graduated in 1965 and was a shot putter on the track team, Dornsife has deep family ties to the Los Angeles campus; both his parents were also USC alumni.

45 comments:

dearieme said...

Googling turned up "classified it as one of the "most selective universities" for admitting 24.4% of the 35,753 people who applied for freshman admission". That's a pretty silly way of measuring "selective" isn't it? What about all the people who didn't apply because they thought that its admissions standards would be too high for them?

Anonymous said...

Legacies and Jocks.

You can add in highly qualified and ambitious NAMs that will likely get promoted a lot, such as Barack Obama. Even if they are lower quality academically, they're a good bet because of their future earning and influence potential.

You can also add in Jewish-Americans. They tend to be good at inventing things, finance, and entreprenuership. Such as Mark Zuckerberg.

Anonymous said...

off topic, but from Tyler Cowen today, on common mistakes of left wing economists:
"8. Lack of interest in discussing ethnicity and IQ as relevant for social policy, except in preferred contexts."
Maybe you've got him to come around a bit?

Anonymous said...

So Title IX harms potential donations by limiting the number of male athletes in minor sports.....

Anonymous said...

OT: the Obama attack on genomics predicted by many is now well underway.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/261708/protecting-public-itself-john-derbyshire

Watch this FDA official (and Obama appointee) lie brazenly before Congress:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YI-m2Cucdoo

The FDA is about to ban you from accessing your own genome without a (medical) license. Seriously.

Ed said...

One of the Anonymous commentators on the earlier Amy Chua thread cross-posted a comment from the Atlantic site, that is actually more relevant here. I am reposting it since it was buried in the earlier thread:

"Posted at The Atlantic:

"The UK's elite universities, Oxford and Cambridge, take in 6000 undergrads each year from an 18-year-old population of the entire UK of 800,000, or 0.75%. Japan's Todai and Kyodai take 8k of 1.2 million 18-year-olds or 0.66%. It goes similarly in the rest of the developed world except that small countries like Canada and Ireland take a much larger fraction into elite schools.

"If you can make it to the top 1% in ability and you want the challenge of working with the top minds in your country and generation, you can have it. Except in America.

"Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford take in under 6,000 students of 4.5 million. That's 0.13% or almost one out of one thousand. Half of those are legacies, racial preferences, athletes, and the rest of the non-academic automatic admits. In America, one out of two-thousand students get the opportunity that one out of one-hundred can expect in the rest of the developed world.

"The difference is that our elite universities are private institutions. Harvard could expand to be twice the size of Todai or Cambridge and abolish all tuition and still make more off its endowment each year than it could ever spend. But it's a private institution run for the benefit of private interests. Harvard, like Y, P, and S has no interest in serving the public. That's why their admission procedures are not meritocratic, bigoted against asian citizens, corruptable with large cash donations, driven by athletics and family connections over academics, and - most of all - secret arcana hidden from public scrutiny.

"The best bet for improving the situation is nationalization. Each of those elite institutions can run only with special privileges they enjoy against the tax code, civil rights laws, antitrust laws, and our original common law. Most of their operating funding comes from the federal government and its grants programs. I say, put an end to them as they are. We could use a few good national universities; let's have them."

I had no idea earlier what the comparative percentages of college aged students taken into the "elite" schools in the US as opposed to other countries. And as the commentator points out, the actual figure is lower since US schools publically follow admissions policies where they seek to compose a substantial part of their student bodies with students who are NOT there because of their academic credentials (legacies, jocks, diversity, various specialized talents, etc.).

This also raises the question about whether American elites are as adverse to including really smart people in their ranks as it appears, and if so what are the reasons.

Anonymous said...

If that is why college admissions favor legacies and jocks then it's a very strong argument against private foundations running the most elite and prestigious schools in the nation.

No other serious country allows a private elite to dominate academics the way Harvard and Stanford can. If perpetual billionaire foundations are a reason to favor legacies an jocks, it's a much stronger reason for nationalization of the top elite universities.

USC on the other hand can stay private.

Geoff Matthews said...

Obviously, this unfair distribution of largess needs to be appropriated for the Cal state system, which is having to undergo unfortunate cuts.

Anonymous said...

I get a feeling that rich liberal old white guys have it all.
When they were young, they were favored over other races--Jews, Asians, blacks, etc. Even up to the early 70s, lots of top law firms hired a dumb wasp over a smart Jew. They got theirs, and they got it so good. They were born into provilege and were favored by institutions cuz they were white and male.
But times began to change as rich white liberal males grew older. Their own jobs were secure, so they didn't have to worry about their own status and positions. Since they had great jobs and lots of money, they sought respect by working to make society 'more fair'. The people who were to be affected by the new rules of 'social justice' were not the established white liberals themselves but younger white people who had yet to make the social climb. So, while younger white males got it up the ass, older rich white liberals could have the cake and eat it too. They could hold onto their jobs/privilege(attained when society favored white males) AND take pride in being socially conscientious(since their 'progressivism' didn't hurt their own status or privilege). If anything, they were showered with more honors and prizes for being 'good decent white males'. Just look at the Kennedies or Rockefellers. They write laws that hurt white people, but the Kennedy and Rockefeller families keep all the privilege and grow richer.

Now, one could argue that rich white liberals were hurting their own kids, but this is not true. Even with affirmative action and all that shit, rich white liberals could send their kids to top private schools, use legacy for college admission for their kids, use connections in professions to make sure that their kids were hired,etc. So, rich white liberals could keep all their goodies for themselves and their own children while taking a nasty dump on the middle-class and working-class whites who were left out in the cold in the New Order.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a shit about college admissions? Why do you write so much about this? This is like your twentieth article about this in less than three months. Are you one of those obsessives who, when he takes interest in a subject, dwell on that ad nauseum for months until switching to another obsession? What a horrible life yours must be. Truly awful to live inside such a mind...

Camlost said...

OT:

Steve, you've gotta see this bizarre list of "Least Diverse States" from mainstreet.com

http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/lifestyle/least-diverse-states-america?cm_ven=outbrain&psv=outbrainselectedarticle&obref=obnetwork

They way this guy denigrates states for their "whiteness" is unbelievable. Here's his review of South Dakota:

This landlocked territory is one of the least populous in the U.S. and least accessible. While the state does maintain a Native American population of 8.5%, its greatest claim to national fame is its Mt. Rushmore, a national treasure featuring four Caucasian men carved into the side of a mountain.

JSM said...

"What a horrible life yours must be. Truly awful to live inside such a mind..."

And, yet, YOU are HERE reading HIS stuff. If it's awful for Steve to live inside his mind, how much worse to live in it vicariously, as you do?

Anonymous said...

"No other serious country allows a private elite to dominate academics the way Harvard and Stanford can."

Well, they're socialist. Who cares?

Anonymous said...

OT: have you read the latest Maureen Dowd column? How long has she been irrelevant?

Anonymous said...

You can also add in Jewish-Americans. They tend to be good at inventing things, finance, and entreprenuership.

I wouldn't say they're good at inventing things. They haven't invented much. They're good at things like finance, trading, politics, influence mongering, etc.

Severn said...

The majority of the legacy admits to the Ivy League are Jews. Which makes sense when you consider the criteria to be be admitted under the legacy rules - (1) your parents graduated at the college and (2) they're rich enough to make a generous donation.

Anonymous said...

"I wouldn't say they're good at inventing things. They haven't invented much. They're good at things like finance, trading, politics, influence mongering, etc."

Heaven forBID we say something nice about the JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZ.

Anonymous said...

"The majority of the legacy admits to the Ivy League are Jews. Which makes sense when you consider the criteria to be be admitted under the legacy rules - (1) your parents graduated at the college and (2) they're rich enough to make a generous donation."

Of course, Ashkenazi Jews have the highest mean IQ, so it's not as if the legacy admits are much different, if at all, from the merit admits.

Truth said...

"I wouldn't say they're good at inventing things. They haven't invented much."

Jews haven't invented much...OK then, somebody had the measles during 7th grade physics.

Bob said...

"So Title IX harms potential donations by limiting the number of male athletes in minor sports....."

This makes sense.

Bob said...

"Harvard could expand to be twice the size of Todai or Cambridge and abolish all tuition and still make more off its endowment each year than it could ever spend."

Harvard is already expanding pretty quickly, but real estate around its campus is very expensive and people in Cambridge are spending years opposing construction on the land it already owns. The expansion opponents in some cases are pretty justified given Cambridge and Boston have some of the oldest buildings standing in the entire United States.

There is no reason for Harvard to "abolish tuition." I'd guess the median family income of its undergrads is above $250,000, and tuition grants as a practical matter result in a full scholarship if your parents make under $65,000, and a half-scholarship if they make $100,000.

Fred said...

"You can add in highly qualified and ambitious NAMs that will likely get promoted a lot, such as Barack Obama."

Yeah, but are they big alumni donors when they become successful? How much did the Obamas donate to their alma maters? I think most of their charitable donations went to The Rev. Wright's church.

Anonymous said...

"This also raises the question about whether American elites are as adverse to including really smart people in their ranks as it appears, and if so what are the reasons."

I think the USA is a business-focused country, so they want people who will do well in business.

Also, as people have said, given that a private university depends on private donations, they're going to want to make lots of businessmen. An elite public school like the ENA has no such pressure, and is free to hold to French ideas of intellectual superiority.

"I wouldn't say they're good at inventing things. They haven't invented much. They're good at things like finance, trading, politics, influence mongering, etc."

Anyone you know contract polio lately?

Anonymous said...

What do Ebay, Microsoft, Starbucks, Intel, Facebook, Dell, Oracle, and Google have in common? In each of these companies, at least one of the founders was Jewish.

There's an unsaid understanding that Jewish people are inventive and good with money. More Jewish students translates into more big money donors and prominent alumni down the line. Bringing in Jewish students is like recruiting black athletes to a football program. Give credit where credit is due.

This article discusses the attempt to recruit more Jewish students to small universities:http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/10/11/2741222/small-rural-colleges-cater-to-growing-jewish-populations

On one hand, Jewish high school seniors who tend to prefer large, urban universities are finding it more difficult to gain acceptance into those schools and are turning to smaller, rural schools, or colleges without large Jewish populations. These schools rush to accommodate them.

The reverse is also taking place: Schools large and small with few Jewish students are actively working to recruit more by building Jewish student centers and creating kosher dining options as part of a “build it and they will come” recruitment strategy.

Admissions officers and deans at these schools rarely say they are actively recruiting Jewish students; instead they say they are looking to “increase diversity.” But off the record, many admit that Jewish students bring certain assets, from leadership skills and good academic records, while they are on campus to a propensity for donating to the school once they graduate.




There are a lot of competent people running the Ivy League schools. They are ruthlessly focused on raising money and enhancing the brand, and admit students that take the school in that direction. They don't talk about controversial observations in the open, but they do understand how the world works.

The Ivy Leagues don't care that much about IQ, contrary to what you may think. They care about the money, prestige, connections, and future earning/fame potential of their students (and students' families). In this era of egalitarianism, they have to make more of a show of being meritocratic than did back in the past (pre-1970s), but that's what it comes down to.

MIT and Caltech care about IQ, academic ability, and intellectual inquisitiveness. Who's more prestigious? Cal Tech or Stanford? MIT or Harvard? Caring about IQ makes your university intellectually vibrant (sorry I had to use that word), but prestige and money makes your university respected and desired - and RICH!.

OhioStater said...

A disproportionate share of members of Augusta National played football in college. Ditto the two most recent members, Pat Haden USC Quarterback and Lynn Swann.

I imagine lacrosse is the new proving ground.

Jewish Achievement said...

"I wouldn't say they're good at inventing things. They haven't invented much"

This list of Jewish inventions recognized by Encyclopedia Britannica includes the laser, genetic engineering, the atomic bomb, instant photography, etc.

Severn said...

Of course, Ashkenazi Jews have the highest mean IQ, so it's not as if the legacy admits are much different, if at all, from the merit admits.

Ashkenazi Jews are present in the Ivy League in numbers which cannot be explained by IQ alone. It can be explained by legacy admissions though.

JSM said...

RE: Troofie's measly, not-funny quip --

Son, find a dictionary and look up "invent," and then look up "discover."

Physics, a thing that exists whether anyone knows about it or not, gets "discovered."

Tools, things that only exist after somebody thinks of it, get "invented."

A "discoverer" is not the same thing as an "inventor."

Anonymous said...

"Ashkenazi Jews are present in the Ivy League in numbers which cannot be explained by IQ alone. It can be explained by legacy admissions though."

So, very low numbers, stemming from the continuing effect of anti-Semite discrimination decades earlier, which would limit the number of legacies today.

Hm, didn't know it was that bad.

Anonymous said...

So who is David Dornsife? Is he Jewish? I can see it both ways. First, a Goy millionaire would stupidly subsidize a US College just because he went there and had fond memories of the Track Team.

OTOH, a Jewish Millionaire would give this kind of gift because he likes the way the University is destroying Goy America.

So which is it?

Kylie said...

"Who gives a shit about college admissions? Why do you write so much about this? This is like your twentieth article about this in less than three months."

Keeping count?

"Are you one of those obsessives who, when he takes interest in a subject, dwell on that ad nauseum for months until switching to another obsession?"

You mean obsessive as in keeping track of how many articles someone you apparently disdain yet can't stay away from has posted?

"What a horrible life yours must be. Truly awful to live inside such a mind..."

Another one who's really veered off-track. Hey, bud, this is still Steve you're talking to and about, not Charlie Sheen. You do know the difference between the two, don't you?

Severn said...

This list of Jewish inventions recognized by Encyclopedia Britannica includes the laser, genetic engineering, the atomic bomb, instant photography, etc



You people sound exactly like blacks trying to claim credit for inventing the wheel and discovering fire.

According to your link, the laser was invented by Gordon Gould. The thing is, Gould was not Jewish. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Ashkenazi Jews are present in the Ivy League in numbers which cannot be explained by IQ alone. It can be explained by legacy admissions though."

They got the best of both worlds: Hi-Q and legacy.

Anonymous said...

"I wouldn't say they're good at inventing things. They haven't invented much"

"This list of Jewish inventions recognized by Encyclopedia Britannica includes the laser, genetic engineering, the atomic bomb, instant photography, etc."

People who say Jews are only clever are generally closet-Nazis.

dearieme said...

"Oxford and Cambridge, take in 6000 undergrads each year from an 18-year-old population of the entire UK of 800,000, or 0.75%." An increasing proportion of their intake comes from the Continent, and from China. Perhaps that's true of Harvard too? Is there any painless way of allowing for that?

Felix said...

This list of Jewish inventions recognized by Encyclopedia Britannica includes the laser, genetic engineering, the atomic bomb, instant photography, etc

I read that and lol'd. The Jews "invented" the atomic bomb? LMAO. Or how about this one? "Genetic engineering." Sorry sport, but I'm a biology major, and let me tell you, "genetic engineering" ain't no invention, more like a long, arduous process of discovery that started long before Watson and Crick deduced the structure of DNA and which yet continues to this very day. It has involved tens of thousands of scientists over a period of time that spans decades. But hey, might as well give it to the jews. ROFL.

Anonymous said...

I'd bet White people are a lot more likely to donate to their alma mater if the student body is non-diverse. I went to UCLA, and I can't imagine ever giving them a dime even if I were to become a billionaire. Non-Jewish, non-Hispanic, non-Middle Eastern Whites (i.e. people of European descent) probably made up less than 20% of the student body when I was there and I imagine that number is going to keep going down over time.

Anonymous said...

"An increasing proportion of their intake comes from the Continent, and from China. Perhaps that's true of Harvard too? Is there any painless way of allowing for that?"

I don't think this is nearly as important as you hyper competitive nerds seem to believe. If you are a focused undergrad, you can pick a lesser known, less competitive university that has a stellar program in an aspect of the sciences or the liberal arts. Or, most importantly, after performing well at a lower tier uni, you can get an advanced degree at one of top tier institutions.

It's just status seeking for an 18 yo who really hasn't lived long enough or studied enough to know who he is or what he wants to be to be educated in the finest style.

Anonymous said...

People who say Jews are only clever are generally closet-Nazis.

You misplaced the "only".

Anonymous said...

"And, yet, YOU are HERE reading HIS stuff. If it's awful for Steve to live inside his mind, how much worse to live in it vicariously, as you do."

Yes, I like some of Steve's articles because he is a proud and out data-nerd who is good at reading statistics, and lots of what happens in the World today can be synthesized through statistics. It doesen't mean that Steve doesen't need a spanking every once in a while to stop him from indulging his vices. I am helping him. And I don't live in anyone's mind. trust me: my IQ is probably higher than pretty much everyone's who posts on this board(easily) and I find most of the comments people make here simple-minded and sophomoric. Doesen't mean I don't enjoy some of Steve's articles. Talk respectfully to me. I am a god, a generous god, but I can also be a divine malevolent entity if I want to...

SFG said...

"OTOH, a Jewish Millionaire would give this kind of gift because he likes the way the University is destroying Goy America."

Or because he felt loyalty to the school after having gone there.

Severn said...

very low numbers, stemming from the continuing effect of anti-Semite discrimination decades earlier, which would limit the number of legacies today.



The numbers are not "very low", Einstein. For example, twenty-nine percent of students are Yale are Jewish. Feel free to come up for a brilliant theory as to how that can "limit the number of legacies today".

Anonymous said...

@Severn, in admission to Yale, Jewish students compete against white students and need 1400 SAT, and not against Asian students who need 1550 SAT

If jews had to compete against asians, their numbers at Yale would be a lot lesser.

Severn said...

in admission to Yale, Jewish students compete against white students

No, you anonymous numbskull, they do not compete against whites. They compete against everyone else who is trying to get admission to Yale. That means they compete against blacks, Hispanics, Asians, legacy admits (aka other Jews), athletic admits, etc as well as whites.

It's passing strange that most of the allegedly high IQ Jews and Asians who comment in HBD-land never display even an average level of intelligence.

ATBOTL said...

"bigoted against asian citizens"

They sure have a funny way of expressing that bigotry.