July 7, 2008

What We're Reading: Too Many Minorities

According to Inside Higher Ed, when a sociologist at Augsburg College compared the students featured in randomly selected college brochures to the actual make-up of the student bodies, it was found that 75% of schools overrepresent black students.

Read the full article here.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

This would be a good discussion piece for Belonging to a Diverse Community during Freshman Orientation.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the heading of this post. It should be too many snobby white kids

Anonymous said...

I just want to applaud you for saying Black instead of African American. I hate when people do that. Not every black is from Africa.

Anonymous said...

i've definitely noticed this... and it doesn't mean i'm a snobby white kid.

Anonymous said...

Nice mixed messages, dumbass.

Your title is misleading and in bad character.

These schools are ashamed that their admit rates for black students is so low - dismal in comparison to the national average.

I expected better from you Mads.

Anonymous said...

expected better from him...yeah, because interviewing lynn redgrave wasn't enough.

the article says there are too many minorities in the school brochures as compared to their actual student bodies. the title is fine - it caught my attention.

idiot.

Anonymous said...

this is nothing new...
Ausburg College... On the Cutting Edge.

Anonymous said...

you're right, the title is misleading...

and there are too many snobby white kids in higher education.

Anonymous said...

11:25- there are too many snobby people period.

Anonymous said...

no surprise there...

http://admissions.vassar.edu/people.html

Anonymous said...

the whole "belonging to a diverse community" thing is bs anyways... vassar is INCREDIBLY white and it's pointless to say otherwise.

Anonymous said...

It's vaguely humorous and attention-grabbing. I'd never expect Mads to be racist, and so I'd never read the headline as such. Seriously, did any of you see the headline "Too Many Minorities" and think there was going to be long racist diatribe?

Anonymous said...

i am not at all surprised about the homogeny at vassar. i am a student of color and, as probably many white or not, i am on financial aid which is HORRENDOUS at vassar. [i think i'm pretty justified in judging it since i've gone to a private school which was fairly expensive and WONDERFUL with finaid.]
i don't know what kind of nonsense system they are running or where the FUCK all the money goes [it certainly isn't for more/better professors] but they find a way to charge me thousands more every semseter which i then have to go argue with them about [real fun] until they realize i'm not selling my organs to attend some college. i have siblings in liberal arts colleges ranked better than vassar [not that ranking means they are necessarily 'better'] and receving far more aid even though, oh right, we have the same parents.
financial aid is not solely for students of color but it certainly is true that giving more would help us attend school more easily than have to always worry that if we get a summer job to earn a little LITTLE spending money for ourselves, vassar will just tack it onto our student contribution [yes, they do this]. instead of the after-the-fact bullshit vassar tries to pull when the 90% white freshman class arrives every year and bombard them with 'diversity workshop', how about doing something constructive for once and actually find a way for truly diverse students not to fear financial ruin for going to COLLEGE. b/c the reason they aren't coming here isn't because they aren't smart enough. i don't care if it means less flowers on campus, it makes no sense that the school costs nearly $50,000 a year [and it doesn't exactly lack an endowment] and cannot find money for causes that need it most.

Anonymous said...

whoa! 10:24,
I am a student of color and on heavy financial aid, and I think Vassar has been absolutely amazing about it. I got the exact amount I requested and hey, it's loan free from next year and need blind. I don't think there needs to be any doubt that if nothing else, Vassar is committed to providing all worthy students an equal chance of attending the college. Just because you had a bad experience with aid doesn't mean Vassar as a whole is not committed to excellent financial aid services. Seriously. And if you really want to see how much of the large endowment goes to flowers and how much to financial aid, I think you'd stop being so ridiculous. If you really think the better ranked liberal arts colleges which do not run Vassar's "kind of nonsense system" would give you more money, then just take your attitude with you and go there.
Sorry, didn't mean to rant and be offensive, but honestly, must we find fault with everything? Even things that are good and obviously working well?

Anonymous said...

10:24, i'm not sure what's going on with your personal situation, but vassar is giving me really great financial aid... it's cheaper for me to go here than to a state school.

also, 1:23.... though i definitely agree with you, at least vassar's got some diversity. it was a welcome change for me, being at least 10 times more diverse than my high school.

Anonymous said...

International student here -- in total, my parents pay about as much for my Vassar education as they'd pay for the almost-free state universities in my home country. Given that Vassar has much more expenses per student ($56k/y I think), that's pretty amazing. :)

Anonymous said...

i'm on pretty decent financial aid...
it could def. be a lot better, though

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the comments regarding "Belonging to a Diverse Community." What can be done to make it more effective? Is the title misleading?

Anonymous said...

9:40-

Vassar is not a diverse community. The exercise is kinda pointless because the so called diverse community does not exist.

Anonymous said...

Diversity isn't just about race...

Anonymous said...

10:24, how did you even get into Vassar?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the number of "students of color" that come to Vassar is related to our lousy financial aid packages. I have a pretty good feeling that as incoming freshmen, everyone on financial aid received a much better package than what they're getting now (unless there are extenuating circumstances). It certainly wouldn't be in my best interest to leave Vassar now even though I can't pay for it anymore because I didn't get enough financial aid this year. I don't know if this has happened to anyone else, but for me, it's been like a bait and switch: they give me a lot of money my first year, and then substantially less every year after that. If I knew that that's how it was going to be back before I started, I wouldn't have come here.

Anonymous said...

Oh hey there, anonymous administrator (9:40).

Anonymous said...

2.24,
In the first briefing during orientation they make it explicitly clear that you will get lesser every year as they expect your summer earnings to somehow keep rising. I'm not saying this is fair, but hey, they do let you know about it.

Anonymous said...

So how should admissions do it? How to get more diverse applicants? Do they picture the population as it exists? Or show pictures of what the community wants to achieve? Posting the photos might help prospective students of color picture themselves here. But what is best?

Anonymous said...

This coming year, I am paying less than half of what I payed last year. And I'm white and female and from New York... exactly the type of person they aren't looking for to add to the Vassar population. So guess what? Sorry, financial aid is based on need and merit. A lot of the grants that are received are due to how much they want you at the school. I guess you don't make the cut. Sorry.
And I'm not racist in the least, but I truly believe it is absurd for a school to admit people based on race or country of residence. I know a girl who goes to Vassar who is one of the stupidest people I've met and I would bet money that she only got in because she's from a small, Caribbean country that probably hasn't been represented at Vassar before. To me, affirmative action (both in admissions and in financial aid) is just another form of racism (I know plenty of black, hispanic, asian, etc kids who are both more well off and more intelligent than I am). I think the reason that schools try to represent as many races as possible on their advertisements is because they want to make their campus seem appealing to more than just the standard upper class white kids who apply there - I'm sure that is true for Vassar. And I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

2:11, Vassar doesn't give awards based on merit.

2:24 said...

9:25,

I guess I don't remember that happening during orientation. But still, telling us something at orientation (in August) is different than telling us something before we accept offers of admission (in May). (And, honestly, I don't see how summer employment can substantially change how much money I have...a few hundred dollars more, if that...)

Anonymous said...

2:11, financial aid is solely related to need...not merit and not "how much they want you at the school"

Anonymous said...

2:24,
i'm pretty sure that when vassar offered you your financial aid package they said something about how much you are expected to contribute each year - it definitely increases.

Anonymous said...

2:11 - there isn't enough room on this blog to dissect your misinformed, priviliged views of affirmative action. spend 10 minutes with luke harris and he'll set you straight.

Anonymous said...

Title's fine in terms of the story - it's an attention catcher.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha... bring on the "I'm not racist" and "but I have friends of color!" racism-denial comments.

2:11 - your comments are really appalling.

"And I'm not racist in the least, but I truly believe it is absurd for a school to admit people based on race or country of residence."

"To me, affirmative action (both in admissions and in financial aid) is just another form of racism (I know plenty of black, hispanic, asian, etc kids who are both more well off and more intelligent than I am)."

Racism is about race-based privilege. It's not just about bigotry and hating on different people. In this country, the color of your skin is a very big determinant in terms of the access you have to different opportunities (i.e. education, access to health care, etc.), and sry2say, but it's pretty clear that certain groups have it a lot easier.

Also, Vassar does NOT give merit-based money. Don't pat yourself on the back just yet!

Mads - your title *is* sort of misleading, particularly if you contextualize it within the Vassar community.

Anonymous said...

its funny how people are saying that we're supposed to pay more each year...
because I just got my financial aid letter, and we're paying LESS. And we haven't been through any major financial changes...