Saturday, December 29, 2007
It's a Numbers Thing
Harvard has created a tempest in a teapot by adjusting its student aid scheme to allow for substantial breaks for students of upper level income families. While other elite colleges struggle to try and match Harvard's efforts in the never ending quest for top notch students, it is obvious that few will be able to do so. This is so simply because of the value of the Harvard endowment, 35 billion dollars, which no other institution can come close to matching. Other institutions are now complaining about how this adjustment in Harvard's is going to negatively impact potential low income students, etc. As our society has progressed in the arena of equal rights over the last half century, we have evolved, such as it is, to reach the point where it is now safe to observe, and say, what most of us knew all along. Our society is built on principles of capitalism, a situation which is generally avoided in political discourse. Of course, kids coming from rich families have an advantage; always have and always will. The key here is that Harvard wants these rich kids if they are smart and a lot of them are. Harvard attracts the smart kids. Rich or poor, there are only so many smart kids. It's a number thing.