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Interesting NYT opinion piece about bias in college admissions process:


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The Roots of White Anxiety

 

I would love to hear what others think.

 

Since I was in leadership in both 4-H and FFA (and our children will probably participate in 4-H soon), this paragraph especially caught my eye:

But cultural biases seem to be at work as well. Nieli highlights one of the study’s more remarkable findings: while most extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like high school R.O.T.C., 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works against your chances. Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America.â€

 

:bigear:

 

I am especially curious as to whether that apparent bias against "conservative Christians" is showing up in the admission process for homeschoolers, since a higher percentage of those who homeschool probably fit that description over the general population.

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I don't have any experience with that bias since dd didn't apply to any Ivies (which seems to be the audience he's addressing.) It wouldn't surprise me if they do have bias against conservatives (professing Christian or not) and I imagine 4-H, FFA, ROTC, CAP or Boy Scouts are indicators of being more conservative than they're comfortable with. From what I see both on the big stage & here in our little (& very liberal) town, tolerance only flows one way & conservatives need not apply.

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I didn't apply to any Ivy league schools either. I was perfectly happy at the conservative bastion of Texas A&M, where FFA and 4-H were appreciated. LOL! I just found it interesting.

 

A friend of mine's daughter was just accepted to Brown. Although she is not conservative, my friend was a single mom (she very recently got married) and her daughter qualified for all kinds of financial aid. They are not a minority, so it goes against the statistics given. Granted it is just averages and from what I can tell friend's DD has an incredible transcript and test scores. She is studying in Italy for the summer now.

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I am especially curious as to whether that apparent bias against "conservative Christians" is showing up in the admission process for homeschoolers,

 

I can't speak to this, but I will relate the only experience I had in a "group interview", which was for the University of Kansas medical school (not a hotbed of left-wing thinking). One of the candidates dressed in a very conservative way, wore a cross, had been to a Catholic University, and was from a nearly 100% Catholic country. She and I were both asked this "ethical" question:

 

A man comes to you (the doctor) with a penile discharge, and you discover he has gonorrhea. The man begs you to not tell his wife, but to bring her in and convince her to take antibiotics for something you make up, so she does not discover he has been unfaithful and therefore leave him.

 

She answered that she unswervingly WOULD do this, to spare a family breaking up (divorce). I believed this was unethical, especially given that AIDS was already afoot, and a case of gonorrhea was not the simple thing it might have been 20 years earlier.

 

It was clear the panel that interviewed us were not happy with her response. While she has a right to her ethical beliefs, I think that the board was reflecting current thinking in individual rights, informed consent, etc, and were perfectly within the parameters of their task in asking such a thing if they suspected a candidate would not go on to reflect the current ethical thinking in their profession.

 

(Actually, I was rather impressed at how they tailored their questions to each of us, and I got the worst grilling of the bunch, as I was 7 years older than everyone else.:))

 

Just food for thought.

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Although the study focused on the Ivies, I don't think there's any reason to assume other universities (which aspire to be exactly like the Ivies in theory as well as practice) are much different. My DH applied to UNC Chapel Hill's medical school and was turned down because he had been homeschooled, despite his outstanding undergraduate work. "We think you need more life experience, why don't you try serving in the Peace Corps for a year or two and applying again?" Um. He was first in his class in astro-physics, he was an assistant teacher for several semesters and he worked for NASA. I don't think they would have had the gall to say that had (a) he wasn't white and (b) if he hadn't been homeschooled.

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UNC Chapel Hill's medical school and was turned down because he had been homeschooled, despite his outstanding undergraduate work.

 

Did they say that? Many schools have a checklist that involves volunteer work with what my mother would have called "people less fortunate than you". Others want science eggheads (Washington in St. Louis comes to mind). The school I ended up up either wanted MD-PhDs who were the cream of the crop, or people who had a track record of working with "people less fortunate". Another school (NYU) didn't even interview you if weren't a 21 year old who went right through on track....no older students I met (there were 23 at my school, which had a better "rating" than NYU) got an interview there, whereas my ex, who was 19 when he was interviewing was interviewed. (My point is that individual schools have agendas on "what they want")

 

So, unless they explicitly mentioned it, they may just have been hinting he show some volunteerism, particularly in this climate of rah-rahing primary care. Just a thought....

Edited by kalanamak
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I'm not sure that I see the Christian ethics behind helping a husband lie about his adultery in order to (perhaps) avoid a divorce. I'm not a Catholic, but I don't see that lying to one patient to cover for a second patient and prevent a possible consequence of covenant breaking is something that I would be obliged to do as a Christian (even one who belives modern divorce is more often based on selfishness than on justifiable grounds). (Personally, I think the other applicant comes off more as gullible or easily manipulated than practicing a certain set of ethics.)

 

On the original topic: I can't speak to the bias against activities like 4H or scouting, etc. I can say that many of the candidates I interview for my alma mater have been members of groups, but neither leaders not individuals who took their participation as far as they could have.

 

We are happy to get applicants with the "traditional" activities mentioned in the article. But the reality is that we aren't looking for people who meet minimums; we are looking for those who have excelled and pushed boundaries. And depending on the year, we are saying no to 9-15 applicants for every one we say yes to.

 

I'm not going to suggest to my own (white male) kids that they drop scouts in favor of something edgier. I am going to ask them to make the most of the activities they choose to be in. Or at least that they pick one that will be a centerpoint if they choose to keep others lower key. And I expect that they will be able to explain their choices to an interviewer or in a statement.

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I'm not sure that I see the Christian ethics behind helping a husband lie about his adultery in order to (perhaps) avoid a divorce. I'm not a Catholic, but I don't see that lying to one patient to cover for a second patient and prevent a possible consequence of covenant breaking is something that I would be obliged to do as a Christian (even one who belives modern divorce is more often based on selfishness than on justifiable grounds). (Personally, I think the other applicant comes off more as gullible or easily manipulated than practicing a certain set of ethics.).

 

She had already commented on the horror of divorce. I don't think she was gullible, I think she was willing to do something generally frowned upon because of her belief, and her attachment to her native culture was so strong she was perplexed as to why, on further questioning, they thought it was wrong. In her world, she was doing the "right thing". I think she was Brazilian. And, she can't have been that young, she already had a PhD in biochem.

 

I have no background in religious ethics, but I do know some people are opposed to divorce to the very end (my father, a non-believer, told my mother, circa 1937, if they "couldn't get on" they might not live in the same house, but that divorce was "not possible".) To me, it was clear this woman had that opposition, and was willing to lie to keep a couple married. Perhaps you could look it at as an example of what docs in times past are often labeled with: paternalism. Perhaps it was simple standard operating procedure where she grew up?

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Maybe it was cultural expectation that she didn't expect a huspand to be able to remain faithful to his wife?

 

Out of curiousity, did the interview board follow up if she would similarly keep a woman's STD secret from her husband?

 

Oh, and what I was thinking with gullible is that she was buying the hypothetical man's arguement that his marriage was something that was so special, so hallowed, that it had to be preserved at all cost. When he was already treating it with contempt and as the doctor, had little but the man's say so that divorce would be the result in any event.

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I'm catholic and I really can't see that argument flying with my local priest. You are lying as a method of saving a marriage, which is not only wrong, but seems short sighted. If he really wanted to save his marriage he'd confess what he'd done to his wife and work on his issues together with her help. The doctor lying for him just spreads his sin into more people. JMHO...

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I'm not sure this is true of state universities. When I went to college, the universities in my state tried to get students from all over the state. As a result students from suburban with strong academic backgrounds had a harder time getting in to the most competitive school than students from rural areas which did not offer the best academic preparation. Some people think it is unfair, but I think it was a recognition by admissions officials that students from certain areas of the state just didn't have the opportunity.

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The Roots of White Anxiety

 

I would love to hear what others think.

 

Since I was in leadership in both 4-H and FFA (and our children will probably participate in 4-H soon), this paragraph especially caught my eye:

 

 

:bigear:

 

I am especially curious as to whether that apparent bias against "conservative Christians" is showing up in the admission process for homeschoolers, since a higher percentage of those who homeschool probably fit that description over the general population.

 

As far as I can tell, this article doesn't address the issue of whether being in FFA or ROTC is correlated with something else that would tend to knock these kids out of the running.

 

Also, it's difficult to know if this study was done well. The WSJ article references a website put out by Neili who talks about some research for which he gives author names but no link to the actual study. And while Neili gives a lot of handwaving about numbers in the sample, etc etc, there isn't enough there in Neili's article to make out whether this study was done well or not.

 

In particular, I'd like to know how many variables the original authors threw into their correlations -- and whether they even reported all their variables. Were they simple correlations, or part of a multiple regression analysis? In other words, did they try to control for the possibility that FFA and ROTC kids might have lower test scores or GPAs? That maybe they don't write as well? Or that the people writing them letters of recommendation don't write as well? Or that the high schools they tend to go to don't, in the colleges' experience, produce strong college students? Or is it just that FFA and ROTC kids tend to apply more to the schools that were studied, so they are less likely to get in if the schools are trying to get a more diverse student body?

 

There are a lot of questions.

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She answered that she unswervingly WOULD do this, to spare a family breaking up (divorce).

 

 

Most Catholics I know believe that lying is also a sin. :001_huh:

 

Committing a sin yourself to cover the sins of this man in order to prevent a future possible sin seems a little out there. It is up to the man and the woman in the marriage to prevent the divorce, not the doctor treating him.

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Here in Michigan, Boy Scouts, 4-H, FFA, etc. are very highly esteemed. I've known several young men that were only average students who went to state universities on half and full scholarships based on being Eagle Scout. I know one young man who was the only non-4.0 high school student (3.9 for him) accepted to Emory University (exclusive aeronautical engineering school) that year because of his Eagle Scout award. I've known three homeschoolers accepted at M.I.T. on 75% awards and most of these kids were involved in things like Boy scounts, Girl scouts, 4-H, FFA, etc.

 

Our state Ag school, M.S.U. offers $2500.00 a year to many 4-H'ers plus other awards within their majors based on their 4-H accomplishments plus our county has a $2000.00 per year award just from the county and three feed companies offer that much or more. The young lady who won the 4-h leadership award for high school seniors this year, got a full ride scholarship to a different state school and it was heavily based on that accomplishment. So, I really think that this has to do with the attitudes of the "Snooty Ivies and their fellow wanna-be institutions" and local bias.

 

DD was offered a "homeschool" scholarship from one our state schools (ranked in the top ten state schools in the nation) because they are actively seeking homeschoolers declaring science majors because "they are more mature, self-starting, and eager to learn than their publicly schooled counterparts" (quote from the award letter).

 

I will say this though....there are some areas that are very hard to get into post-undergraduate work, if one is of a certain ethnicity or gender. It is a very well-known fact that it is nearly impossible for a white person to get into the U of M law school these days. There have been two lawsuits against the school in the last five years because of it's discriminatory practices and countless articles in several newspapers and the other glaring instance is Vet School at MSU. So many women are going into veterinary medicine, combined with the sharp decline in the number of men applying, this has resulted in a nearly automatic "wait list" for all women, while men can get in immediately no matter how poorly qualified. One of our local vets, a graduate of that program, openly admitted that he had poor undergrad grades and didn't take any of his under-grad work seriously and yet was admitted into the department ahead of women that he felt were unbelievably qualified candidates. When dd was considering vet medicine, the advisor at MSU actually told her that if she had a 4.0 plus honors in her major plus lots of volunteerism in a variety of animal welfare programs, she would still have a 3-6 year wait to begin post-grad work simply because of her gender.

 

Bias is everywhere. That said you haven't seen bias, politics, and outright discrimination of the most blatant kind until you've explored music schools! I don't think any IVY could rival the attitudes of places like Julliard, Oberlin, New England Conservatory, Eastman, or College Conservatory of Music at University of Cincinnati! I could tell you horror stories.

 

Faith

Edited by FaithManor
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There are so many *medical* things that can go wrong when a patient is lied to about the root of her problem. What if the anti-biotics are not entirely effective? What if she has residual problems but doesn't know what to look for? What if she, herself, is having an affair?

 

Apart from the ethics, it's poor medicine. Really second rate.

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I think part of the reason that ROTC, FFA and 4-H might hurt your chances of admission is the likelihood that the candidate will choose to attend the Ivy. FFA and 4-H show a strong liking for rural life, and except for Cornell, none of the Ivies has an ag program. For ROTC, I'd guess a lot of kids are competing for appointments to the service academies.

 

For a school that's worried about its US News and World Report ranking, admitting kids who will decline admission is a something to avoid because it affects your yield number. If you're sitting in an admissions office you want to try to admit kids for whom you're the #1 choice and avoid kids who want to say they got into an Ivy before they accept the full ride to their state u. If kids with a certain trait start hurting the yield numbers, I'm sure that group starts getting admitted less often. It's the nature of the system and some schools are extremely good at gaming that system to rise in the rankings.

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Well, that would be logical, since the A stands for Agriculture. I graduated from there, too, and disliked nearly every minute of it. I had floor mates who refused to share a space with AA girls, and glued oreos onto the door of the girl who chose to room with one. I also thought the Confederate flags flying from so many dorm rooms was a bit low life, also, but you know how that goes...

As for the article, i think it is bunk.

 

Really, Dot!?! Wow, I never lived in a dorm and I never saw anything like that (of course I am of a majority race) but I am very sad that it happened to you. I am really sorry!!! I had many friends of all different races at A&M.

 

I won't say that it surprises me, unfortunately. Part of the reason I left my first teaching position after college was the pervasiveness of racism in the school and community (East Texas). I just wasn't comfortable living around that, and this was in the early 90's. There were other factors, but that contributed to the decision. :(

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I thought it was an interesting op-ed.

 

I think there could be a lot of reasons -- the US news issue discussed above, the point from the piece that the low income "spots" were going to minority students.

 

I think class is becoming a more important division in our society, even more so than race, or income, and it is interesting we don't discuss it more -- I suppose it goes again our national mythology. It was interesting reading an interview with a black actor from the UK who found it different how hung up on race we were since he said there it is all about class.

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Well, that would be logical, since the A stands for Agriculture. I graduated from there, too, and disliked nearly every minute of it. I had floor mates who refused to share a space with AA girls, and glued oreos onto the door of the girl who chose to room with one. I also thought the Confederate flags flying from so many dorm rooms was a bit low life, also, but you know how that goes...

As for the article, i think it is bunk.

 

I never saw the Confederate flags or prejudice against folks of colors in my 2 years living in Texas A&M dorms back in 1991/1993. But then, that was 20 years ago. Lots of things could have changed. I'll look around next time I'm on campus. My sister still lives there.

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As far as I can tell, this article doesn't address the issue of whether being in FFA or ROTC is correlated with something else that would tend to knock these kids out of the running.

 

Also, it's difficult to know if this study was done well. The WSJ article references a website put out by Neili who talks about some research for which he gives author names but no link to the actual study. And while Neili gives a lot of handwaving about numbers in the sample, etc etc, there isn't enough there in Neili's article to make out whether this study was done well or not.

 

In particular, I'd like to know how many variables the original authors threw into their correlations -- and whether they even reported all their variables. Were they simple correlations, or part of a multiple regression analysis? In other words, did they try to control for the possibility that FFA and ROTC kids might have lower test scores or GPAs? That maybe they don't write as well? Or that the people writing them letters of recommendation don't write as well? Or that the high schools they tend to go to don't, in the colleges' experience, produce strong college students? Or is it just that FFA and ROTC kids tend to apply more to the schools that were studied, so they are less likely to get in if the schools are trying to get a more diverse student body?

 

There are a lot of questions.

 

This bears repeating. Before accepting the claims the article has made shouldn't we be taking a look at the article to see if there is even any basis for those claims???

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I'll again be a stupid European that doesn't understand how things in America work, but acceptance to academic institutions should be EXLUSIVELY on the grounds of academic record. Heck with volunteering, Peace Corps, sports, looks, ethnicity, minority or non-minority, I couldn't care less - if they want the BEST candidates, they must choose the best from RELEVANT INFORMATION - and that's ONLY academic record, published works, work in academia, combinations of courses taken, etc.

 

Only in America do they refuse the best students because they didn't spend enough time volunteering or didn't do sports. What a crazy notion.

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As far as I can tell, this article doesn't address the issue of whether being in FFA or ROTC is correlated with something else that would tend to knock these kids out of the running.

 

Also, it's difficult to know if this study was done well. The WSJ article references a website put out by Neili who talks about some research for which he gives author names but no link to the actual study. And while Neili gives a lot of handwaving about numbers in the sample, etc etc, there isn't enough there in Neili's article to make out whether this study was done well or not.

 

In particular, I'd like to know how many variables the original authors threw into their correlations -- and whether they even reported all their variables. Were they simple correlations, or part of a multiple regression analysis? In other words, did they try to control for the possibility that FFA and ROTC kids might have lower test scores or GPAs? That maybe they don't write as well? Or that the people writing them letters of recommendation don't write as well? Or that the high schools they tend to go to don't, in the colleges' experience, produce strong college students? Or is it just that FFA and ROTC kids tend to apply more to the schools that were studied, so they are less likely to get in if the schools are trying to get a more diverse student body?

 

There are a lot of questions.

 

I have the same questions. The information we've been given is twice removed from the original research: the research was summarized for general readers in a book, and then the book was summarized for newspaper readers by an op-ed columnist. There's simply no way to evaluate the conclusions as reported by the columnist. Social science research is too complex for that, and too easily influenced by confounding variables.

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I will say this though....there are some areas that are very hard to get into post-undergraduate work, if one is of a certain ethnicity or gender. It is a very well-known fact that it is nearly impossible for a white person to get into the U of M law school these days.

 

Let's take a look at the class demographics, shall we?

 

http://www.law.umich.edu/prospectivestudents/Pages/classstatistics.aspx

 

75% of the class of 2010 is white.

79% of the class of 2011 is white.

76% of the class of 2010 is white.

 

79% of the population of the United States is white, according to the Census Bureau.

 

You don't mention gender, but according to the same statistics 55% of the classes of 2010 and 2012 are male, and 57% of the class of 2011 is male. 49% of the US population is male.

 

It doesn't look like we'll be seeing a shortage of white male lawyers any time soon.

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I'll again be a stupid European that doesn't understand how things in America work, but acceptance to academic institutions should be EXLUSIVELY on the grounds of academic record. Heck with volunteering, Peace Corps, sports, looks, ethnicity, minority or non-minority, I couldn't care less - if they want the BEST candidates, they must choose the best from RELEVANT INFORMATION - and that's ONLY academic record, published works, work in academia, combinations of courses taken, etc.

 

Only in America do they refuse the best students because they didn't spend enough time volunteering or didn't do sports. What a crazy notion.

 

Oh, now that would just be silly, everything being based on academic merit. :tongue_smilie: It's just too simple an answer and too simple a plan. No, we need more confusion and areas of gray. :tongue_smilie::tongue_smilie:

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Let's take a look at the class demographics, shall we?

 

http://www.law.umich.edu/prospectivestudents/Pages/classstatistics.aspx

 

75% of the class of 2010 is white.

79% of the class of 2011 is white.

76% of the class of 2010 is white.

 

79% of the population of the United States is white, according to the Census Bureau.

 

You don't mention gender, but according to the same statistics 55% of the classes of 2010 and 2012 are male, and 57% of the class of 2011 is male. 49% of the US population is male.

 

It doesn't look like we'll be seeing a shortage of white male lawyers any time soon.

:lol::thumbup:

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I'll again be a stupid European that doesn't understand how things in America work, but acceptance to academic institutions should be EXLUSIVELY on the grounds of academic record. Heck with volunteering, Peace Corps, sports, looks, ethnicity, minority or non-minority, I couldn't care less - if they want the BEST candidates, they must choose the best from RELEVANT INFORMATION - and that's ONLY academic record, published works, work in academia, combinations of courses taken, etc.

 

Only in America do they refuse the best students because they didn't spend enough time volunteering or didn't do sports. What a crazy notion.

:iagree:

 

Maybe I should encourage my son to apply overseas after highschool?

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I'll again be a stupid European that doesn't understand how things in America work, but acceptance to academic institutions should be EXLUSIVELY on the grounds of academic record. Heck with volunteering, Peace Corps, sports, looks, ethnicity, minority or non-minority, I couldn't care less - if they want the BEST candidates, they must choose the best from RELEVANT INFORMATION - and that's ONLY academic record, published works, work in academia, combinations of courses taken, etc.

 

Only in America do they refuse the best students because they didn't spend enough time volunteering or didn't do sports. What a crazy notion.

 

The problem is, at these top of the top prestigious schools (won't get into whether the education is always top of the top), essentially EVERYONE that applies has the "best" educational resume possible - top grades - top AP scores, etc. There isn't enough room to admit them all, so colleges have to differentiate in some fashion or another. They choose what they want to see or who will help fill out a well-rounded campus.

 

Then too, for majors like Art, Music, Philosophy, etc, or certain sports/PE, academic grades aren't everything. Students in those fields may indeed have academic test scores that aren't up to par with math or science majors, but who cares?

 

I am most certainly NOT an Ivy-lover, yet I have a son who is being recruited by Yale - and this son wants to keep considering them as an option. We're semi-rural (very rural according to anyone in a big city, not so to anyone in a REALLY rural area like most of Wyoming). He's not in ROTC, 4H or Scouts. We certainly aren't any sort of legacy or going to donate a wing or fund research. We are semi-conservative church going folks. They tell us his recruitment comes from having a decent sophomore ACT score. That speaks of basing things off academics to me.

 

Granted, if he chooses to apply he is not likely to be accepted, but then again, they only accept 7 out of every 100 applicants (as of last year). I'm not so certain I'm willing to call them biased. Maybe they are just sending recruiting letters to all who score X on these tests with no intentions of really considering those from Y. Maybe not. I don't think anyone can really say.

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Although the study focused on the Ivies, I don't think there's any reason to assume other universities (which aspire to be exactly like the Ivies in theory as well as practice) are much different. My DH applied to UNC Chapel Hill's medical school and was turned down because he had been homeschooled, despite his outstanding undergraduate work. "We think you need more life experience, why don't you try serving in the Peace Corps for a year or two and applying again?" Um. He was first in his class in astro-physics, he was an assistant teacher for several semesters and he worked for NASA. I don't think they would have had the gall to say that had (a) he wasn't white and (b) if he hadn't been homeschooled.

 

A female, public-school educated, non-white friend of mine was turned down on her first application to UNC Med School for the exact same reason - go get more life experience. She had excellent grades undergrad and good test scores IIRC. She got a job for a year in a medical field working with patients, and got in the next year. So I'm not sure if it was entirely bias against homeschooling.

 

I do think there's a bias against homeschoolers at many colleges, and against conservatives. I think it's sad - especially the idea that something like 4-H isn't excellent leadership preparation.

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Out of curiousity, did the interview board follow up if she would similarly keep a woman's STD secret from her husband?

 

 

 

No, they moved on to other questions. I was asked about my opinions on a national health plan.:)

 

Religion, cultural, whatever, they were sounding out if the person was going to be able to strive to their ideals, something they were charged with sounding each applicant out about. As I recall, there was one clinical professor, one lab-rat professor, a rural family practitioner, and a plain old volunteer citizen. The only school that had any such panel, and I was very pleased with how the school went about things.

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I think that groups like 4-H, scouts, and JROTC show a desire for hands on activities, adventure and groups where the students have a strong leadership role. I wouldn't expect any particular 4-H member to be limited to ag degrees any more than I would expect a scout to become a forest ranger or for a high school athelete to be planning to play professionally.

 

As for JROTC, the vast, vast majority of JROTC students don't go on to service academies. In fact I'd guess that over half don't join the military at all (through officer accession programs or enlisting). I can only give specific numbers for the unit at our local high school. There were about 20 seniors in the unit. One received an offer of appointment to a service academy.

 

Now I would ask a different question of the students. If you've come up through systems like scouts or JROTC, where there was strong teamwork but also a huge element of personal responsibility and meritocracy, what attracts you to an Ivy league school? (I ask because the more I look at these schools the less I see them providing an education or developmental experience that is worth the tuition. I really think at this point, you are paying for the networking, at that is only going to avail you in certain circumstances.)

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I'll again be a stupid European that doesn't understand how things in America work, but acceptance to academic institutions should be EXLUSIVELY on the grounds of academic record.

 

What a crazy notion.

 

Private institutions are private, and I personally love the idea of one size not fitting all. Some institutions are proud of producing people who work on humanitarian issues, and want candidates who've tried it out, and decided they still like the idea.

 

Also, consider: if you want to have an excellent social work department, you might want people who can do something other than get good grades, but actually talk to the great unwashed with ease and talent. Letters from people who have supervised your work with the great unwashed might shed light on whether the person has people skills or not. Just a single example. I can think of many others.

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Private institutions are private, and I personally love the idea of one size not fitting all. Some institutions are proud of producing people who work on humanitarian issues, and want candidates who've tried it out, and decided they still like the idea.

 

Also, consider: if you want to have an excellent social work department, you might want people who can do something other than get good grades, but actually talk to the great unwashed with ease and talent. Letters from people who have supervised your work with the great unwashed might shed light on whether the person has people skills or not. Just a single example. I can think of many others.

 

 

I think Ester Maria would consider that as part of the qualifications for that type of education/work, based on what she has said in other threads. I believe that she is working from the paradigm of the purely academic, ivory tower sort of college education, rather than the more practically oriented areas of study.

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I think Ester Maria would consider that as part of the qualifications for that type of education/work, based on what she has said in other threads. I believe that she is working from the paradigm of the purely academic, ivory tower sort of college education, rather than the more practically oriented areas of study.

 

 

Well, those might be rare. Some schools want to produce chemistry teachers and some pure researchers. Fine arts? English majors? Librarians? Etc. And surely many here have met the "genius oddball" in college. We need a few amazing programmers who cannot get their socks to match, but we needn't make that the ideal for all candidates. (I am remembering one programming genius whose shoe sole became loose. Every day he walked with a more exaggerated step, to get that flapping sole to clear the ground. After about 10 days, and the thing only attached at the heel, he tromped by with duct tape holding it on. I later found out his roomie did it. :))

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That said you haven't seen bias, politics, and outright discrimination of the most blatant kind until you've explored music schools! I don't think any IVY could rival the attitudes of places like Julliard, Oberlin, New England Conservatory, Eastman, or College Conservatory of Music at University of Cincinnati! I could tell you horror stories.

 

Faith

 

Faith,

 

Would you mind elaborating on that?

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Private institutions are private, and I personally love the idea of one size not fitting all. Some institutions are proud of producing people who work on humanitarian issues, and want candidates who've tried it out, and decided they still like the idea.

 

Also, consider: if you want to have an excellent social work department, you might want people who can do something other than get good grades, but actually talk to the great unwashed with ease and talent. Letters from people who have supervised your work with the great unwashed might shed light on whether the person has people skills or not. Just a single example. I can think of many others.

If I read your point correctly, what you're saying is that some non-mainstream-academic activities have direct practical utility in certain fields. I don't negate that. :) Also, you have a point, legally, pointing that we're speaking of private institutions.

 

However... A good latinist is a good latinist, regardless of whether he spent his youth volunteering providing food for the homeless or not. Would a volunteering experience have affected everyone, have changed everyone's life perspective, have taught a valuable lesson or few? Absolutely. But, in the context of a university preparation in classics, such a thing is quite ephemeral. I want a good latinist, I want to see his Latin preparation, his study of humanities related to classical philology, as well as a strong general academic foundation - whether he spent free hours of his youth volunteering or hanging in pubs is totally irrelevant to me. What I judge him by is his academic record. And if I have many people who are very, very similar with regards to academic record - I make an entrance exam which is, again, academics-based. That way, I pick the best and those with highest potential with regards to the field they're about to study. And IF there are additional criteria, those can be only field-related: who participated in international classics summits and competitions, who participated in youth archeology workshops, etc. I DO NOT take sports or volunteering or something else which is irrelevant to the field as a criterion - only relevant things. And I certainly don't say to anyone to go to Peace Corps (!) to get more "life experience" (!) in order to be able to study classical philology.

 

If it's a music academy, I only want a graduation paper to be sure the candidate has finished secondary education and can legally enter a university - but what I mainly judge him by is the FIELD, nothing else. I judge his performance, I test his solfeggio and harmony, I check previous musical education. I don't care if he did extracurriculars or no. I only care about his general academic preparation and his concrete chosen field of study.

 

If it's a biomedical field, sure, some practice aside might help - but cannot be a factor based on which I am going to rule people out ("lack of concrete experience" when experience isn't assumed by the plan of studies). The primary factor on which I'm going to base my judgment are sciences and math, as well as fulfilling general education requirements. Too many people with too similar record, additional academic testing in related fields, NOT judging people based on volunteering, sports and Peace Corps.

 

That's basically my point - very often American universities focus on totally irrelevant things. 250-words compositions, what extracurriculars you had, whether you worked or volunteered, worked on school newspapers or whatnot. Totally irrelevant how you spent your free time - what I'm interested in is your academics, general and concrete regarding that which you're going to study.

 

But that's only me. :D

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I find the constant gasping by white people of rampant discrimination to be rather tiresome, frankly. The idea that some white people are not admitted to this or that university therefore they are being discriminated against lacks the basic awareness that not every qualified person can be admitted to institutions where many people apply. In fact, at least in undergrad institutions, more candidates are admitted because of ties to the institution, e.g. children of alumni, than for race-based reasons, not to mention admission of shall we say, differently qualified people (such as athletes), who may not have as high of test scores. I think it's pathetic when anyone thinks s/he is ENTITLED to attend a top-flight university simply because of a self-identification as smart and interesting.

 

Regarding the case of purported religious bias -- I was not aware that doctors are morally bound to inform a spouse/partner or inquire of someone's marital status, so I find that question curious. How would a doctor even know this? And really, could a doctor force a man to bring his wife in there to tell her the news? How, exactly? I thought the laws of informing partners had to do with AIDS, but I certainly am not an expert on this. I find it a bit weird. I don't understand why the question was framed that way; the woman should have considered answering differently, instead of falling into that trap.

 

I do think it's interesting that certain activities are associate with different political views or "types." Frankly I'd love to see a de-emphasis of collegiate athletics, as I don't see what that's got to do with higher education, but maybe that's just me.

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Regarding the case of purported religious bias -- I was not aware that doctors are morally bound to inform a spouse/partner or inquire of someone's marital status, so I find that question curious. How would a doctor even know this? And really, could a doctor force a man to bring his wife in there to tell her the news? How, exactly? I thought the laws of informing partners had to do with AIDS, but I certainly am not an expert on this. I find it a bit weird. I don't understand why the question was framed that way; the woman should have considered answering differently, instead of falling into that trap.

 

 

 

Convincing someone to come in and get antibiotics for a "sinus infection" they don't have is outright lying. In the scenario THE HUSBAND was asking the doctor to LIE to his wife, to MAKE UP a reason she would need to have antibiotics without telling her her husband has the clap.

 

"Would you go ahead with the husbands wishes to have his wife treated for a made-up problem to treat an STD to save a marriage" is the gist. I'm not sure why this is so confusing. Would you want a doc willing to lie to you?

 

In my experience, BTW, the people who don't want partners told don't tell who the partner is ("I don't know her name, I met her in a bar"), and those that do tell me who their partner(s) are (99% of the time) very much want them informed so they can be treated. The health department can contact the partner and inform that that someone who named them as a contact has X, without them having to call, and without the original person's name given. STDs are tracked. The local clinics and hospitals and offices need to know when they need to start swabbing everyone of ambulatory age and willing.

 

It would never cross my mind to treat a person for an STD and NOT try to find out who else needs to be treated. Think sterility, think chronic painful pelvic inflammatory disease, think increased risk of HIV transmission, think concommitant HIV infection, think congenital syphilis. Not only does it seem morally important, it is what one is taught, and what one is reminded of at any STD CME or lecture. But it would not cross my mind to tell someone they had an ear infection when I was really trying to treat chlamydia. Really infradig.

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Just out of interest what exactly is it about the article that makes it "bunk"?

 

Flyingiguana had an excellent post on the matter that's been pretty much ignored by most.

 

ETA: Rivka had an excellent point as well.

 

We've dived into discussing the issue without even evaluating the articles claims.

Edited by WishboneDawn
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Let's take a look at the class demographics, shall we?

 

http://www.law.umich.edu/prospectivestudents/Pages/classstatistics.aspx

 

75% of the class of 2010 is white.

79% of the class of 2011 is white.

76% of the class of 2010 is white.

 

79% of the population of the United States is white, according to the Census Bureau.

 

You don't mention gender, but according to the same statistics 55% of the classes of 2010 and 2012 are male, and 57% of the class of 2011 is male. 49% of the US population is male.

 

It doesn't look like we'll be seeing a shortage of white male lawyers any time soon.

 

I find the constant gasping by white people of rampant discrimination to be rather tiresome, frankly. The idea that some white people are not admitted to this or that university therefore they are being discriminated against lacks the basic awareness that not every qualified person can be admitted to institutions where many people apply. In fact, at least in undergrad institutions, more candidates are admitted because of ties to the institution, e.g. children of alumni, than for race-based reasons, not to mention admission of shall we say, differently qualified people (such as athletes), who may not have as high of test scores. I think it's pathetic when anyone thinks s/he is ENTITLED to attend a top-flight university simply because of a self-identification as smart and interesting.

 

 

:iagree:

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I think that groups like 4-H, scouts, and JROTC show a desire for hands on activities, adventure and groups where the students have a strong leadership role. I wouldn't expect any particular 4-H member to be limited to ag degrees any more than I would expect a scout to become a forest ranger or for a high school athelete to be planning to play professionally.

 

As for JROTC, the vast, vast majority of JROTC students don't go on to service academies. In fact I'd guess that over half don't join the military at all (through officer accession programs or enlisting). I can only give specific numbers for the unit at our local high school. There were about 20 seniors in the unit. One received an offer of appointment to a service academy.

 

 

If over half don't join the military, does that mean that almost half do? I suspect a lot less than half of the population in general goes into the military. This would mean that you are suggesting that, even if not ALL of the JROTC members join the military, a much larger percentage of them do (compared to the average in the population). Which just proves the point of the poster who suggested this in the first place.

 

I don't think the posted article told us much about why there might have been differences in admission rates for various groups. It's not clear if the original study even tried. I haven't seen evidence one way or the other. And was it a difference in admissions or applications? 4-H, FFA, and JROTC students may just not have been interested in those particular schools.

 

Also, we don't know if the study even looked at Ivy League schools. They kept the names of the schools secret.

 

And I would suspect that FFA members might be more likely to go into ag or ag related fields. Note that I'm saying more LIKELY, not that most of them do. Just a slight bias in that direction could result in fewer FFA applications to non-ag schools than one would expect if the applications were random. (And assuming that the schools looked at in the study were non-ag schools -- which we still don't know.)

 

In this discussion, there seems to be a confusion between population averages and "what I've known my kids or my neighbor's kids to have done". There can be a big difference between the two observations, which is why statistics were invented. (By the way, I was in the FFA, and I didn't go into agriculture -- so based on my limited experience, I'd say no one in the FFA goes into agriculture, but that could hardly be true.)

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Convincing someone to come in and get antibiotics for a "sinus infection" they don't have is outright lying. In the scenario THE HUSBAND was asking the doctor to LIE to his wife, to MAKE UP a reason she would need to have antibiotics without telling her her husband has the clap.

 

"Would you go ahead with the husbands wishes to have his wife treated for a made-up problem to treat an STD to save a marriage" is the gist. I'm not sure why this is so confusing. Would you want a doc willing to lie to you?

 

I am not sure why you have responded in this way. I am not in favor of infidelity, STDs, or lying, but it's always fun to be accused of such!

 

In my post, I attempted to express my SURPRISE to think of how exactly this would even work. How would someone's wife would be compelled to show up at the husband's doctor's office and/or doctors to give another person (who may very well NOT be their patient) antibiotics. It also strikes me as really bizarre for a husband to drag his wife to his doctor in order to look at her ear, when she (presumably) hasn't been complaining of any ear problems.

 

So I am struggling with the logistics of bringing someone in to their partner's doctor's office; I don't see the same doctor, or go to the same office, as my husband, and I am not sure most people share a doctor in this fashion. Given the requirements of many HMOs (e.g. needing to change one's primary care physician in advance of a visit), I just don't think the deception would work on a practical level. Not to mention being handed that billing sheet on the way out, with the diagnosis code on it.

 

If the situation were reversed, and it were a WOMAN trying to get her husband secretly treated, it wouldn't work well if the diagnosing doctor were an OB/GYN, would it?

 

The assumption that we're all in some small town, and everyone is in cahoots, is not very realistic. I therefore think the husband is rather deranged to think he could pull this one off, morality aside.

 

That is my position.

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I have no idea how you thought I thought you were in favor of infidelity, etc. The thought had not crossed my mind! :lol: Sorry to spoil your fun, but you were not accused.

 

I am relating a *true incident*, where interviewers wanted to suss out how a potential students values might put her contrary to standard practice. They found out.

 

It was a *hypothetical situation*. They were not asking her how realistic it was, but whether she would lie to a patient to uphold a belief of hers.

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