Ivy League Fooled: How America’s Top Colleges Avoid Real Diversity

Cord Jefferson, Good Education, August 31, 2011

Back in March, as colleges began to herald their newly admitted classes for PR purposes, the Ivy League schools got to patting themselves on the back.

The Harvard Gazette bragged that Harvard’s newest batch of accepted students included record numbers of blacks and Latinos. Brown said its admitted class was “the most racially … diverse” in the school’s centuries-long history. Dartmouth shared actual percentages, declaring that a full 44 percent of its newest class was composed of students of color. Coincidentally, that was the same percentage of minorities in Penn’s freshman class.

Numbers like these might lead someone to believe that diversity is no longer an issue at America’s most elite colleges. {snip}

It turns out the Ivy League’s racial diversity stats are only half the story. People in search of egalitarianism at places like Harvard and Columbia shouldn’t just be asking what color students are, but where they’re from, too.

Call it the Ivy League’s dirty little secret: While America’s most elite colleges do in fact make it a point to promote ethnic diversity on their campuses, a lot of them do so by admitting hugely disproportionate numbers of wealthy immigrants and their children rather than black students with deep roots–and troubled histories–in the United States.

The problem, of course, isn’t that black immigrants are going to Ivy League schools in large numbers; educational success should be applauded no matter where the student is from. But the large numbers of African immigrants on American college campuses, coupled with the remarkably small numbers of native blacks on those same campuses, calls into question the effectiveness of America’s affirmative action programs. While affirmative action started as a system to right the wrongs of slavery and institutional anti-black racism, helping wealthy immigrants who weren’t here for those struggles doesn’t serve any of the program’s original intentions.

{snip}

The statistics are striking: Though African immigrants, many of them from Nigeria and Ghana, make up less than 1 percent of America’s total population, first- and second-generation black immigrants comprise 41 percent of all black students at Ivy League schools, according to 2007 research from teams at Princeton and Penn. Another study, this one published in Sociology of Education in 2009, found that immigrant blacks attended select colleges at almost four times the rate of native-born African Americans. Outside of the Ivy League, almost 44 percent of African immigrants graduated from a four-year college, compared to just 18 percent of native blacks.

{snip} Data shows that African immigrants, Nigerians in particular, are far wealthier and more highly educated than many Americans of any race. In 2000, when the median household income for African Americans was about $30,000, the median income for Nigerian immigrant families was more than $45,000. Where education is concerned, in 2007, African immigrants were likelier to have obtained a college or graduate degree than any other immigrant population, and 20 percent likelier than the U.S. population as a whole.

It’s easy to chalk these numbers up to the myth that immigrants work harder than native blacks, but studies say that’s wrong. According to the aforementioned sociological research from 2009, immigrant students don’t value education more than native blacks or perform significantly better academically. Rather, they have the financial resources required to get a leg-up into the highest echelons of academia.

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Question Diversity

    Note the implicit assumption: “Real diversity” = Native born blacks.

    The Ivy League loves the children of wealthy immigrants because their parents are wealthy, and can write a neat and easy tuition check.

  • Chris N.

    While Nigerians and other Africans indeed lend diversity, we are reminded once again that “real” diversity is limited to African-Americans and Hispanics.

  • neanderthalDNA

    Man, them ivey league schools is SMART!

    Well done! Gotta tow the ideological line, gotta get lots of blacks in to look all diverse and such?

    IMPORT the smartest, wealthiest blacks you can find.

    Guess they learned their lessons from the 60’s when black militants held them hostage and forced them to lower standards.

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    “… immigrant students [preferred by Ivy League schools] don’t value education more than native blacks or perform significantly better academically. Rather, they have the financial resources required to get a leg-up into the highest echelons of academia.”

    * * *

    This helps explain Ivy League schools’ profound disdain have for lower-income white applicants. Not only can’t they pay the tuition — and thus would require a scholarship — they are white. The double liability dramatically reduces their chances of acceptance:

    “When lower-class whites are matched with lower-class blacks and other non-whites the degree of the non-white advantage becomes astronomical: lower-class Asian applicants are seven times as likely to be accepted to the competitive private institutions as similarly qualified whites, lower-class Hispanic applicants eight times as likely, and lower-class blacks ten times as likely.”

    SOURCE: “How Diversity Punishes Asians, Poor Whites and Lots of Others”

    By Russell K. Nieli, MindingtheCampus.com, July 12, 2010

    http://tinyurl.com/34wpfpq

  • Seneca the Younger

    And how many white, non-Jewish students make up the incoming freshmen class? I think it is somewhere around 7%. How many are not rich and/or legacies?

    It is already known, based on past articles, that lower and middle class whites need not apply to ivy league schools because they’d rather have a student from Nigeria with the IQ of 80 that has a father in the prime minister’s cabinet.

    Although I personally met a Detroit public school grad that got a full ACADEMIC scholarship to Yale with a 3.6 gpa. I know white kids that graduated from some of the best schools in the state that cannot get into Michigan State with a 3.6 gpa.

    Most companies are starting to wake up and look elsewhere for their grads. I know for a fact several very large corporations consider Yale a joke and would rather recruit from Michigan or Northwestern (although those are not much better diversity-wise).

    I cannot wait for the time to come when when we bar all foreigners from coming here. It wouldn’t come soon enough considering actual unemployment is close to 20% now. Why are we still giving out H1B Visas again?

    And educating foreigners gives them a huge advantage to get citizenship or sponsorship from a U.S. company and stay permanently. Get rid of all of them now.

  • Anonymous

    First and second generation black immigrants do perform better in

    school than native born blacks. Here are two examples.

    1. Jonathan David Farley graduated summa cum laude from Harvard with a AB in mathematics(and second in his class) earning 29 A’s

    and 3 A-‘s. He went on to earn a doctorate in Mathematics at Oxford. His parents were born in Guyana and Jamaica.

    2. Saheela Ibraheem, a 15 year old second generation Nigerian who obtained 800 on the math section of the SAT and a 2340 total score. She will attend Harvard.

  • anonymous

    Man, them ivey league schools is SMART!

    Well done! Gotta tow the ideological line, gotta get lots of blacks in to look all diverse and such?

    IMPORT the smartest, wealthiest blacks you can find.

    Guess they learned their lessons from the 60’s when black militants held them hostage and forced them to lower standards.

    ————————————————————

    The worst part of the 60’s was the dumbing down of everyone, even whites, who now misuse the idiom, ‘toe the line’ by calling it, ‘tow the line’.

    You tow cars with tow trucks.

    You toe the line as in a free throw.

    It’s hard to read blogs and comments nowadays with the basic grammar and spelling errors.

  • P T

    I saw in that Tom Cruise movie about Irish immigrants (my people!) that toe the line was an expression – a starting point – in old-fashioned bare knuckle prizefighting.

    From what I have seen on TV, shooting the “free throw” is an occupation currently monopolized by immigrants from points a bit further south.

  • Anonymous

    I teach at a college that has some students from Africa. Though they are not always smart or particularly hard working, they are quiet and polite and don’t seem to be angry at whites or expect everything handed to them on a silver platter, the way African Americans often do.

  • NAVY

    In short, liberal Socialists are outsourcing the sons and daughters of America’s white working taxpayers from Ivy League schools.

    America cannot accelerate without whites and whites cannot lead the world by example without character.

    American’s must point out this cultural Marxist racket to the media so that it can be exposed.

  • paul

    ‘Data shows that African immigrants, Nigerians in particular, are far wealthier and more highly educated than many Americans of any race’

    Is this a joke? Nigerians???

    Can anyone explain this?

  • Crystal

    Also blacks from the Caribbean do better in school than African Americans do.

  • Blaak Obongo

    “It’s hard to read blogs and comments nowadays with the basic grammar and spelling errors.”

    You are so right. The general dumbing-down of what passes for “education” these days has left even a growing number of Whites painfully ignorant. Reading online blogs and comments can often get to be an exercise in applied illiteracy.

    And don’t even get me started on the many and tortuous mis-spellings of “definitely.”

  • Cui Bono?

    @#4 E Pluribus Pluribus

    To add to what you write:

    What Espenshade and Radford found in regard to what they call ‘career-oriented activities’ was truly shocking…Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student’s chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. … Excelling in these activities ‘is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission.’

    Source: No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life by Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Radford.

    http://goo.gl/CGlBG

  • sbuffalonative

    When blacks call for diversity, they don’t understand how broad the term is. THEY believe it to mean African-Americans. But diversity can include anyone and everyone.

    Blacks will never understand that the diversity they keep demanding is opening the door for people to compete against them.

  • Ross

    Reply to Seneca the Younger:

    Here is a comparison. There is no way that George W. Bush would have gotten in Yale, had it not been for his extremely rich family. He just does not have the brains to have done it on his own!

    And there is absolutely no way George W. Bush would have been President of the USA, had it not been for his wealthy family to back him up! When he was President, he needed the much more intelligent Dick Cheney as his Vice-President, and other more intelligent people in his cabinet.

    If George W. Bush was a common man, he would have been someone like a truck driver. a store clerk. a gas station attendent, or a construction worker.

    Because I am a learning-disabled person, when I was a young man in the 1970’s, I raged with envy for Ivy-League graduates.

    Now that I am older and wiser, I now rage with envy for people who had great success in the real world like Steven Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, and Sir Richard Branson.

    On the other hand there are Ivy-Graduates who are either homeless steet people, or are just as much working stiffs as regular people, like the rest of us. An Ivy League degree does not magically guarantee success in life. And an Ivy-League degree will not magically transform you into a super-hero, lke the Peter Parker/Spiderman character!

  • Anonymous

    What a coincidence. Historically Black Colleges recruit students for diversity requirements too, almost all of them from overseas.

  • Anonymous

    I took this article seriously, up till the point he writes,

    ‘research’ shows immigrant students don’t value education more than native blacks or perform significantly better academically. Rather, they have the financial resources required to get a leg-up into the highest echelons of academia.

    And how quickly does he forget immigrant students also benefit from affirmative action?

  • El Cerote Gigante

    So, doesn’t it ALWAYS boil down to money??? The filthy lucre? I don’t see anything surprising here.

  • Charles Hastings

    All colleges have caught onto the trick and are doing this now. The community college where I teach has created an internal diversity hiring committee to which all job search committees must report. After realizing that the faculty were “too white” about six or seven years ago, virtually every faculty member we have hired since then has been Indian or Korean, including some non-citizens. We just can’t find qualified blacks or Latinos, which make up a large portion of our local “community,” but we still congratulate ourselves for being diverse. Needless to say, Asians are overrepresented on the faculty. Needless, apparently, because no one says it.

  • johannes benn

    hello,

    please excuse my language faults, as english is not my native language.

    basically I think that there are good arguments to believe that the global IQ and achievement (educational, economical, cultural, scientific,…) gap between people with roots in subsaharan africa, east asia and europe might be in part due to genetic differences.

    anyway one of the best arguments of the ´anti-racists´ is the fact that students from subsahara africa do very well in the british and us education system in recent years, see for example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_minority#Black_African_immigrants

    can anybody explain those figures, or does anybody have internet links to sites where this phenomen is explained? in fact i am interested in good counter arguments for future discussions.

    i have already thought about highly selective patterns of migration from subsahara africa to the usa and the uk, which could result in such an high attainment level for first generation black immmigrants. but i would be thankful for mor information to this topic.

    with best regards

    johannes benn

  • Charles B. Tiffany

    When you cross African slaves who were to stupid to avoid the black slave catchers with Scots-Irish riff raff who fled the United Kingdom ahead of the bill collectors and high sheriffs what do you expect to get,Albert Einstien or Fat Albert. Africans do crazy things like study and wait until marriage to have kids. Burning the mid-night oil is not heating their bongs.

    Charles B. Tiffany

    Kissimmee, Florida

  • MAJ

    #5 Most companies are starting to wake up and look elsewhere for their grads. I know for a fact several very large corporations consider Yale a joke and would rather recruit from Michigan or Northwestern (although those are not much better diversity-wise).

    ———

    This is all a sham and a waste of time. #5 is right. Companies know that blacks with a fancy-pants affirmative action degree is useless in the workplace when they can’t perform (the federal government excepted).

    I suspect schools like Harvard and Yale have a large enough entering class that they can hide the unqualified blacks in the mix and trot them out from their “African studies” classes to pose for a brochure or web site photo.

    They also probably know that grinning blacks in class photos help their chances at federal grant money.

    Still, denying more qualified whites is the true disgrace. Michelle Obama and that idiot Hispanic Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor – if they were white – would have their Princeton applications tossed in the garbage.

    The good news is there are plenty of excellent schools and most business leaders and even CEOs do not hold eastern elite Ivy League degrees. It seems that only presidential politics is affected by this curse and look what that has gotten us.

  • Anonymous

    “We just can’t find qualified blacks or Latinos, which make up a large portion of our local “community,” but we still congratulate ourselves for being diverse”.

    There could be many reasons for the dearth of under-represented minorities there. One of which could be every other hiring office is also recruiting for ‘diversity’. Your small college might not be the first choice for a ‘qualified’ ‘minority’.

  • Julie

    #10

    Could it be that the Ivy Leagues don’t want competition from smart, talented, hard-working White students? Keep their hold on the top echelon of American society while pretending to promote “fairness” and multi-culturalism? The non-White foreign students can get their education and then go back to their home countries where they will not be any competition to their “old money” sons and daughters. Keep the “little people” at arm’s length where they belong.

  • sbuffalonative

    21 — johannes benn:

    Your first problem is that you are using Wikiepdia as a primary source. Wikipedia is edited by people who are promoting their own liberal ideology.

    Please note footnotes #29 and #30.

    #29 has no link and provides no title of the article.

    This is the footnote entry for #29:

    “London Daily Times (January 23, 1994, as reported in Stringer and McKie 1997:190; Re-reported by Smedley in Lieberman 2001:p87)”

    This provides no useful information.

    Footnote #30 is even worse.

    Here is footnote #30 in full:

    “The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education”

    This provides even less information than #29.

    Footnote #31 a link to an article written by an African American named Clarence Page. He is a liberal with an agenda. I’m not going to bother dissecting his article because it it were true, the results would news.

    Footnote #32 is nothing more than demographic information:

    “Profile of Selected Demographic and Social Characteristics”

    With an estimated population of 1 billion Africans in Africa, it’s likely there will be a few highly intelligent black Africans. However, the percentage is very small.

    If Africans were highly intelligent, they would have great universities in Africa and they wouldn’t have to study in White, western nations.

  • DoppelGangbanger

    “‘Data shows that African immigrants, Nigerians in particular, are far wealthier and more highly educated than many Americans of any race’

    Is this a joke? Nigerians???

    Can anyone explain this?”

    Maybe it proves the old Dylan line, “Steal a little and they put you in jail/Steal a lot and they make you king.”

  • tryclosan

    There’s a saying in Italian, “fatta la legge, trovato l’inganno” which basically means that whatever rule is put into place, people will find away around it. The Ivy Leagues thought they found a way around Diversity. But like so many other social policies, diversity is good so long as it benefits the right people. It’s funny that the proponents of diversity are now reduced to squabbling about what they actually mean by the term and trying to minimize the superior performance of African students vs. American blacks.

    From the article:

    “It’s easy to chalk these numbers up to the myth that immigrants work harder than native blacks, but studies say that’s wrong” Which studies? How did they measure hard work? It can’t be by income, because you just said that “Nigerians…are far wealthier and more highly educated than many Americans of any race”

    “According to…research from 2009, immigrant students don’t…perform significantly better academically…than native blacks” Huh? You just said that “African immigrants were likelier to have obtained a college or graduate degree than any other immigrant population” and that “Nigerians are more highly educated than many Americans of any race”.

    Not bad writing, I guess, for a 26-year old mulatto.

    Diversity truly is the new religion. As such, it requires a voluntary suspension of logic to be palatable.

  • Browser

    13 — Blaak Obongo wrote:

    “It’s hard to read blogs and comments nowadays with the basic grammar and spelling errors.”

    You are so right. The general dumbing-down of what passes for “education” these days has left even a growing number of Whites painfully ignorant. Reading online blogs and comments can often get to be an exercise in applied illiteracy.

    ——————–

    I agree, Obongo. And let me add that even the news articles themselves frequently tend to be poorly written, in English that would have flunked a (former) high school student. Often written by people with incomprehensible names that would indicate not the remotest connection to English or to Europe.

  • Anonymous

    11 — paul wrote:

    ‘Data show[s] that African immigrants, Nigerians in particular, are far wealthier and more highly educated than many Americans of any race’

    Is this a joke? Nigerians???

    Can anyone explain this?

    _____________

    They are awash in oil money.

    On a recent international flight, half the first class cabin was filled with Nigerians.

    They now have the money. Well, some of them do.

    Just look at the recent “underwear bomber” in Detroit. Look at his wealthy, privileged upbringing. And look at what little good it did.

  • Anonymous

    25 — Julie wrote at 6:22 PM on September 2:

    #10

    Could it be that the Ivy Leagues don’t want competition from smart, talented, hard-working White students?

    Bingo!!!!!

    Julie, I have always thought that the sole purpose of affirmative action was to keep middle and lower class Whites from rising to the top. American capitalism is chaotic. Few families maintain their place at the top for more than 3 generations.

    Affirmative action put most Whites who did not have serious marxist connections on a generational downward path.

    When I graduated fom college in 1963 all the engineers had jobs before they graduated. Now a White male engineering grad can’t get a job unless he goes into the military. The military will use his skills but not promote him above Captain.

    Doesn’t matter how smart or highly skilled Whites are, affirmative action keeps them out of employment and of course bans them from many colleges.

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious if admission tests for foreign students are required to be disclosed to college ranking services. This could explain the preference for foreigners. Also, if they are, how difficult would it be for a rich Nigerian to acquire fake identification in order to pay for a smart student to take the SAT for him? You hear about athletes doing that all the time.

  • Larry

    I graduated from an Ivy League college in the 70’s.

    At that time, there were relatively few blacks on

    campus and lots of whites from modest family backgrounds

    like mine. Since then, whites of any background other

    than the wealthiest have become complete persona non grata

    on those campuses.

  • rjf101

    One of my favorite books is “Mornings on Horsebakc,” a biography of Theodore Roosevelt’s early life by David McCullough. Int he book, I recall the author writing of Harvard’s class of 1800-something (whatever year it was that Theodore entered, probably in the 1870’s). He noted that, of the 800+ Harvard students that year, every single one of them was white, none were Southern or Eastern European, or Jews or other non-Christians, and a large percentage were members of Puritan families from the Boston area. Teddy’s being a “Roosevelt” and not a “Richardson” or “Robinson,” and being from New York instead of Boston, actually made him a bit of an oddity at the school. Today, Harvard has thousands of students, is nearly one-half non-white, and hardly any of its students are White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants from wealthy families. Its simply amazing just how much our country has changed these past 140 years.

  • Anonymous

    16 — Ross wrote at 12:08 AM on September 2:

    “There is no way that George W. Bush would have gotten in Yale, had it not been for his extremely rich family. He just does not have the brains to have done it on his own!”

    During the 2004 presidental election, someone managed to discover and publish all over the internet the military tests of both Bush and Kerry. According to the military tests, Kerry’s IQ was 120. Bush’s IQ was 125.

    125 IQ is very high normal, a mere 5 points below gifted. 130 is gifted. Bush’s IQ is in the 90th percentile.

    An IQ of 125 is quite enough for Yale and Harvard Business School from which Bush also graduated. Yale might have been a legacy admission, but Bush got into Harvard Business School at the height of the affirmative action scramble.

    Then too, remember that Harvard is the epicenter of anti White, anti American pro communist activists in the country. What with the hatred Harvard exhibits toward American Whites, Bush’s race counted against him.

    His Father being head of CIA and active in Republican party politics would also have counted against him with that communist anti White racist admissions committee.

  • Anonymous

    I read somewhere a year or two ago that the reason that the Ivy League looks to Africa and the Caribbean for black students is that they have had some very bad experiences with admitting ghetto blacks from the USA. No doubt the other boys and girls in the dormitory were terrified of their thuggish behavior. In contrast, the foreign blacks often make a genuine effort to be polite and to conform to the social norms of the white world.

    I’m sure that there is plenty of fraud involved in the African community regarding SAT scores, etc., but there are hundreds of millions of blacks in Africa, and a small number of them are certainly gifted and well qualified to attend any university. As someone mentioned already, there just aren’t any countries in Africa with enough above-average brainpower to run a first-class university.

    I think that there is all kinds of fraud at all levels in the university admission process. When my children filled out financial aid forms, there was a box you could check if you had aged out of the foster care system. If you had, it would have excused you from providing any information about your parents’ income and assets. I seriously doubt that the schools or the financial aid system have any way of verifying this information, and I don’t doubt that a lot of people have garnered bucketloads of scholarships, Pell Grants, etc., based on having aged out of foster care when in fact they grew up in middle class comfort.