The article published in today's NYTs – Efforts to Recruit Students Lag at Some Elite Colleges – will likely send a shudder through administrative offices at many colleges and universities.
I expect to be hearing about it for some time. This is as it should be. There is something that offends the sensibilities about extremely rich institutions failing in their efforts to use their riches benevolently.
But being involved with higher education institutions shouldn't we be asking deeper questions than those the Times is capable of? Questions such as – what benefit can one of these elite institutions offer to a poor young man or woman? Is it simply a matter of recruiting him or her? Or is there more that needs to be done?
I don't pretend to know the answers. I do know that top private colleges and universities rest to a shocking degree on the elite social capital that wealthy students already possess when they come to their institutions. There's a great deal of vanity in these institutions…