Scott Page and Uma Jayakumar release today an early draft of their paper "Social Capital and Evidence of Exceptionalism". Dr. Page tweeted today:
#Yale, #USC, #Stanford allowed explicit purchase of admission. The wealthy also implicitly purchase admission through greater opportunities to excel. High SES students may be 20 times more likely to exhibit the exceptional talent
and linked to the unpublished paper (at right). READ HERE
As Dr. Page points out in his tweet, the College Admissions scandal reported across the nation yesterday points to explicit and illegal means by which several very wealthy individuals were able to use their money to literally purchase admission to several Elite Universities (for their children) by paying for the services of criminal ringmaster William Singer.
Page and Jayakumar discuss in their paper how admissions criteria that advantage exceptional performers in extracurricular activities results in an implicit bias in favor of people from high socio-economic families and communities.
"We construct a model that demonstrates that the practice of elite colleges and universities admitting students based on exceptional performance or capabilities in athletics, music, art, debate, and science creates a strong bias in favor of children of high socioeconomic status (SES)."
Social Capital and Evidence of Exceptionalism
Uma Jayakumar∗ and Scott E Page†
March 13, 2019
∗University of California-Riverside †University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and The Santa Fe Institute. Orrie Bednar Page provided the initial data analysis in the third section. He is not responsible for any errors. We thank Cade Massey and Michael Joyner for their input on this paper.
Abstract: We construct a model that demonstrates that the practice of elite colleges and universities admitting students based on exceptional performance or capabilities in athletics, music, art, debate, and science creates a strong bias in favor of children of high socioeconomic status (SES). Our model describes three distinct effects: an opportunity effect: high SES students have the opportunity to try more activities; a specialization effect: those opportunities are biased toward elite activities -tennis, classical music, debate, etc ...that colleges desire, and a support effect: high SES students receive better coaching and training, enjoy more familial support, and also benefit from healthier diets and lifestyles. We make a crude estimate that the combination of these three effects imply that students from high socioeconomic status families and communities may be between five and twenty times more likely to exhibit the exceptional talents desired by elite colleges and universities than lower SES students. In the final section, we use data from sports participants to support that estimate.
"The model captures the fact that students who attend elite public and private schools can try their hand at an enormous number of sports and activities... ...In contrast, students at Romulus High School in Michigan choose from among only nine sports and fewer than twenty extracurricular activities."