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The Power of Privilege: Yale and America’s Elite Colleges


reviewed by Molly Ott — January 23, 2008

coverTitle: The Power of Privilege: Yale and America’s Elite Colleges
Author(s): Joseph A. Soares
Publisher: Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA
ISBN: 0804756376, Pages: 238, Year: 2007
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Most Americans believe higher education to be a channel for social mobility and the main means by which individuals from impoverished backgrounds may legitimately improve the quality of their lives. While the majority of colleges and universities practice open admissions for anyone who has a high school degree, some do not admit all students who apply. These selective institutions enroll very few students from lower socioeconomic status (SES) families. One recent analysis shows that 74 percent of students at the 146 most selective institutions come from families in the top quarter of the SES distribution, while three percent are from the bottom quarter (Carnevale & Rose, 2003). In fact, only ten percent of students at these schools are from the bottom half of the SES distribution. In The Power of Privilege: Yale and America’s Elite Colleges, Joseph Soares explores why such social class inequalities are observed and offers a counterpoint... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 23, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14914, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 6:04:20 AM

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About the Author
  • Molly Ott
    University of Michigan
    E-mail Author
    MOLLY OTT is a third-year doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. Her research interests are related to the sociology of higher education, especially social and institutional stratification. She recently co-authored a study sponsored by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and is currently working on a project measuring the short and long-term effects of a national scholarship program for low-income minority students.
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