Johns Hopkins had ended admissions preferences for legacies. Let’s spend 3 days going through it. Day 2.

Might Johns Hopkins be lying? Sure! Elite colleges lie all the time about admissions issues. Consider President Daniels:

“But we know that the dream of equal opportunity is more elusive than ever for many in contemporary America,” he said. “To take one sobering statistic, most of the top universities in the country enroll more students from the top 1 percent of the income spectrum than from the bottom 60 percent.”

One of the most pernicious drivers of such inequity is legacy admissions, Daniels said.

There is zero evidence for this claim!

1) When Hopkins rejects a marginally qualified legacy, she doesn’t become a plumber. She goes to Duke. Assuming that Hopkins is not radically different from Williams — and why would it be? — the average legacy student, even back in the evil old days of 2009 — had a higher SAT than the average non-legacy. (Now, there are reasons that this is not a fair comparison, but it is absurd to claim that Hopkins legacies were somehow materially less qualified than the students they are being replaced with.)

2) Note the lack of transparency from Hopkins about who they are replacing the legacies with. If they reject a rich legacy with 1450 SATs and replace her with a rich non-legacy with 1460 SATs, then, it is true that they have removed the legacy advantage and, perhaps, served the cause of “justice.” But they have done nothing about wealth or income inequality. For all we know, Hopkins is just replacing moderately rich legacies with the scions of billionaires! Hard to spin that as a decrease in “inequity.”

3) How will Daniels ever know if we have achieved the “dream of equal opportunity?” Sure seems like his measuring stick is based in equal outcomes. Does the NBA provide “equal opportunity?” Sure seems like it does to me! And yet the racial (and gender!) breakdown of the NBA hardly matches that of the country as a whole.

4) Legacy admissions and top 1% income admissions are very different things. But note how easily Daniels conflates them. Indeed, for all we know Johns Hopkins has increased the percentage of its class which comes from top 1% income families. Perhaps some (many? most?) of the legacies that Hopkins now rejects were from middle income homes. Lots of Hopkins alumni become teachers, after all.

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