Borhas wrote:aaaaaah wrote:Honestly, it does really bother me that socioeconomic status doesn't hold more weight in the admissions process. I grew up in a single-parent home in Section 8 housing where drugs and alcohol played a huge role in the family dynamic. Maybe I'm just making excuses for myself, and I know that others who faced similar circumstances are a lot more successful than I am, but I do feel like working full time throughout school and taking care of my younger siblings made it a bit more difficult to focus on grades, and I damn sure never would have been able to afford something like an LSAT course. I mean, it was a struggle paying for the used prep books and the $12 LSAC fees. I'm still trying to figure out where that $500 is coming from in two weeks and I'm having a very hard time with the conventional wisdom that rank trumps scholarship money.
All of that said, I do think UCLA is one of the few schools to actually consider socioeconomic diversity. Their application has like 10 questions on family history and I don't think my #s would have gotten me in without my DS. I don't think this is the norm at other schools though.
The problem is, and this is what differentiates AA from Socioeconomic status preferences...
AA focuses on fixing broad social problems. It is NOT related to individual merit. Focusing SES would not do anything to alleviate poverty, it might alleviate which specific people are poor, but not poverty. SES is concerned w/ individual merit, not broader social progress.
Poverty is a structural problem that can't possibly be fixed through preferential treatment. The system creates wealth disparity, there will always be poor people unless we dramatically reduce wealth disparity. Even if you accept every single meritorious or potentially, there will be other poor people to replace them... and once you shuttle the poor into the elite classes they are no longer poor, but elites.
However, racism can be theoretically alleviated by AA because preferential treatment includes people from groups not represented in the elite segments of society. They will theoretically keep their same racial identity when they enter the elite classes, so this would theoretically change the composition of the elite in a substantial way.
[I'm using the term elite to mean perceived to be elite, but w/ actual wealth and power not actually elite which refers more to virtue and responsible citizenship and leadership]
Just want to clarify: I wasn't trying to compare the way race and SS are treated under admissions. I completely understand that AA targets the group rather than the individual and I don't have a problem with that at all. I just think that when an ad com does evaluate individual merit, overcoming significant adversity should be considered for something.