Dartmouth's Daily Blog
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Legacies and Other Quotas?
The kids behind the Freedom Budget are now negotiating with various senior members of the administration. Whether they represent anyone but themselves is still entirely unclear. If you take the number of students who occupied Phil’s office, then approximately thirty people presume to speak for — whom exactly? — all minority students? all liberal students? They haven’t said, and Phil and his team have not asked.
In the Freedom Budgeters’ conversation the other day with Dean of Admissions Maria Laskaris ‘84, the good Dean was reported by The D to have made the following comments:
Laskaris said she found the meetings a helpful way of gathering feedback, particularly regarding the needs of undocumented students.
She spent a significant portion of the admissions meeting discussing why quotas are not used in the admissions process, she said, citing legality as well as the nature of a “holistic” admissions process. [Emphasis added]
No quotas, you say, Maria? Let’s test that proposition against a couple of areas of admissions. First: legacy students. According to the Dartmouth Factbook, for the Classes of 2011, 2012, and 2013, the percentage of legacies in the incoming class was a rock solid 11%; since the Class of 2014, the percentage jumped to an equally solid 14%:
Interestingly enough, the Class of 2014 was also the year in which the percentage of incoming students from private schools rose from a consistent range in the low-to-mid 30%’s to exactly 40% over the past four classes (including the Class of 2017).
What do you think happened to have these percentages jump to new and entirely consistent plateaus? Did the legacy kids all of a sudden get smarter? Did private school students increase their level of achievement from one year to the next, and then stay at exactly that level in the following years? Me thinks not. Perhaps this change was just a coincidence?
As we have written before, the Class of 2014 was the year in which the College decided to increase cash income from students. Maybe Maria’s use of the word “holistic” refers to the financial “hole” that Jim Kim said that the College was in. In any event, in that year Early Decision admits jumped (ED kids can’t negotiate financial aid) and both legacy and private school admits were increased substantially (they come from richer demographics). One of Kim’s ways out of the budget crisis was to raise the quotas — ooops, I said it — for these types of students. As the statistician Ralph Waldo Emerson opined, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” It is also a sign that policy decisions have been made.
But, perhaps Maria has another explanation for us.
Addendum: In a previous series on the subject of affirmative action, we commented on the notorious “Asian Quota” that exists at the College and at other top schools:
On a larger scale, Dartmouth, after a certain lag, has joined its Ivy sisters in enforcing a quota on Asian-Americans. Twenty years ago, Dartmouth and Princeton were at the low end of Asian-American enrollment in the Ivy League: under 10% of students. Yale, Brown and Cornell all briefly topped the 20% mark in that era. However, for the last decade or so, all of the Ivies have admitted Asian-American students in an increasingly narrow range of 12-18% of each class, despite the significant rise in the number of college-age Asian-Americans in the United States.
In contrast, Caltech’s admissions rate (the top red line) seems to approximately track the rise in the number of young Asian-Americans.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…