The Myth of the Meritocracy

Elite universities don’t offer poor and working-class students class mobility — they maintain a rigid class hierarchy.

That’s the thesis of this well written and well argued essay.

In light of a recent report examining the concentration of wealthy students in American universities, calling Northwestern an incubator for middle-class renewal seems disingenuous. The report revealed that most college students at elite universities come from the upper echelon of American society. In fact, thirty-eight institutions enroll more students from the top 1 percent than students from the bottom 60 percent.

Obama’s embrace of higher education — long touted by Democratic politicians as the key to a good, stable life — ignores the class dynamics at selective, high-tuition universities and reflects liberals’ silence around class issues more generally. At a time when most poor students can’t afford tuition at even underfunded public universities, this claim rings especially hollow. The United States’ elite universities aren’t engines for meritocratic uplift — they preserve and reproduce inequality.

All completely true.  Etc., which do enjoy so give it a look, especially if you’re an Academic.