Who can afford Harvard?

David Brooks, in his column for today's NY Times, puts into perspective the state of higher education today. Possibly the most interesting statistic is the following:

"The median family income of a Harvard student is $150,000. According to the Educational Testing Service, only 3 percent of freshmen at the top 146 colleges come from the poorest quarter of the population."

What makes this even more amazing is the fact that these families claim solidarity with the poor and underprivledged, yet they have supported societal and policy changes that continue to keep the poor down.

"For 30 years they have presided over failing schools without fundamentally transforming them. They have imposed a public morality that affords maximum sexual opportunity for themselves and guarantees maximum domestic chaos for those lower down.

In 1960 there were not big structural differences between rich and poor families. In 1960, three-quarters of poor families were headed by married couples. Now only a third are. While the rates of single parenting have barely changed for the educated elite, family structures have disintegrated for the oppressed masses."

What's more, every attempt to improve public schools--like vouchers for students attending private and parochial schools--are thwarted. Maybe Brooks is right; maybe it's all a conspiracy to maintain an elite hegemony against the poor.

Comments

Jack Lessl said…
It is amusing that a conservative columnist is using Marx to criticize others! Joe McCarthy and Ann Coulter must be rolling over in their graves!*

I'm not sure it's conspiratorial, however. I would probably ascribe it first to apathy. Human apathy is the conspiracy.

*Ann Coulter is not legally dead.
AnimatedJames said…
The best part of Harvard is that in the package they sent to my sister, they included a letter, in which they stated they want Harvard accessible to everyone qualified academically, regardless of cost.