Yofish's Reviews > The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges -- and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates

The Price of Admission by Daniel Golden
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's review
Feb 09, 2009

it was ok

Written by the Wall Street Journal Education writer. Had maybe enough for a newspaper article. It is his position that US colleges are not meritocracies because of legacy admission, sports (especially rich, white sports) scholarships, and going after children of wealth in order to increase endowments. But he doesn't really make the case--he mostly states it and assumes that you must agree. Nor does he make a good case about why I should care, either as a Yale alum or as a US citizen. Some of it is hard to verify and there's a lot of stating SAT scores (and so on) of those who got in and those who didn't. There's inherently no smoking gun, which he sort of admits, but blunders onward anyway. I'm a little surprised I could take it for all 300 pages (and I don't really know why I bothered). He was annoying about it too, which made me want to argue and not believe any good points he might have had. About the only point that I could almost get on board with (which, of course, he made in passing because why bother to make a point when you're so obviously right?) is that colleges who give big boosts to alumni children get a lot of money in federal grants.

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