A recent NYTimes article from 10.23.2023, “New SAT Data Highlights the Deep Inequality at the Heart of American Education,” 1 alerted me to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Diversifying Society’s Leaders? The Determinants and Causal Eﬀects of Admission to Highly Selective Private Colleges”2 The report begins with this note:
Leadership positions in the United States are held disproportionately by graduates of a small number of highly selective private colleges. Less than half of one percent of Americans attend Ivy-Plus colleges (the eight Ivy League colleges, Chicago, Duke, MIT, and Stanford). Yet these twelve colleges account for more than 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs, a quarter of U.S. Senators, half of all Rhodes scholars, and three-fourths of Supreme Court justices appointed in the last half-century (Figure 1).1 Ivy-Plus colleges also enroll a disproportionate share of students from high-income families: students from families in the top 1% of the income distribution are more than twice as likely to attend an Ivy-Plus college than students with comparable SAT or ACT scores from the middle class…..
This graph, displaying the distribution of 1300 and higher SAT scores by income segment from the NYTimes article, looks an awful lot like the distribution of income and wealth in the US. Are you surprised that the meritocratic elite are doing so well?
- Claire Cain Miller and Francesca Paris, “New SAT Data Highlights the Deep Inequality at the Heart of American Education,” The New York Times, October 23, 2023, sec. The Upshot, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/10/23/upshot/sat-inequality.html.
- Raj Chetty, David Deming, and John Friedman, “Diversifying Society’s Leaders? The Determinants and Causal Effects of Admission to Highly Selective Private Colleges” (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2023), https://doi.org/10.3386/w31492.