Posted on May 5, 2022

The Price of Admission

Steve Sailer, Taki's Magazine, May 4, 2022

In recent weeks, American college admissions departments sent out to high school student applicants millions of thick envelopes (good news) and thin envelopes (bad news). But finding out what colleges decided in aggregate is becoming increasingly difficult as more universities respond to the various critiques against them by clamping down on their release of information.

For example, Princeton University announced last month that it was not going to issue its annual press release on how many undergraduate applications it had accepted for admission. It will only publicly announce late in 2022 how many students had enrolled. Princeton’s bureaucrats rationalized their censorship with the implausible argument that increased public ignorance will

…help us keep students central to our work and tamp down the anxiety of applicants.

Princeton’s decision might have something to do with a statistic that Princeton used to announce each April about the applicants it had accepted. In 2014:

…49.2 percent have self-identified as people of color, including biracial and multiracial students.

In 2019:

…56 percent have self-identified as people of color, including biracial and multiracial students.

And in 2021, after George Floyd, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s alma mater stated:

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the admitted group self-identified as people of color, including biracial and multiracial students.

During the current racial reckoning, it’s mathematically inevitable that for nonwhites to benefit, the children of white parents must suffer. But many white folks are just waking up to that fact. Thus, continuing to issue press releases rubbing their noses in it might be imprudent.

Similarly, the University of California campuses appear to have deep-sixed releasing information on the racial makeup of those they accepted, but rumors are rife that this year the U of C admissions departments went Full Diversity.

Princeton has been ranked No. 1 in the US News & World Report listing of top colleges for eleven consecutive years, so it clearly knows how to play the data game.

But that contest has been getting more complex even for the most wildly successful American colleges, among which Princeton ranks in the top four along with Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Princeton’s endowment is $37.7 billion, a huge sum for the smallest of the HYPS superschools.

Multiple factors are converging to make administering even at Princeton a more challenging job than in years past.

First, the George Floyd Memorial “racial reckoning” has led to demands for even more Diversity-Inclusion-Equity. But, of course, while the DIE mania drives up demand, it can’t generate more supply of African-Americans smart enough and hardworking enough to be suitable Princeton students. There’s a fixed supply, over which American colleges have been wrestling with each other for the past half century in a zero-sum game.

Second, Covid has brought about the Not So Great Reset in which improvised lockdown responses, such as making admissions tests optional (as at Princeton) or banning them altogether (as at the University of California), become precedents for enduring but self-destructive changes.


Third, Asians are getting so adept at piling up objective measures on college applications that they are pulling away from all other races on test scores and grade point averages. Thus, colleges are quietly worrying about a Yogi Berra Effect: that their colleges might get so Asian that even Asians won’t want to go there anymore.


White people made American colleges immensely fashionable around the world, but now America is running out of white kids.

For example, USC reported that whites received only one-fourth of its admission offers this year.

Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia announced:

Of offers to students that applied domestically this year and who indicated a race on their application, 52 percent of offers were made to students of color—a record percentage for the University. Last year, 41 percent of accepted students were applicants of color.

Catholic Notre Dame declared:

The admitted student cohort is also made up of 41% U.S. students of color—specifically 15% Hispanic and Latino students, 14% Black students, 11% Asian and Pacific Islander students and 1% Native American students.

That’s up from 26–27 percent nonwhite at Notre Dame in 2019 and 16–17 percent nonwhite in 2009.

Fourth, there’s the nagging question of whether white American kids have finally given up on their honor code that long kept them from cheating like Brazilians do when checking the race boxes on applications subject to affirmative action. In the U.S., one Achilles’ heel of our vast system of racial preferences is that it depends upon self-identification. {snip}


Fifth, the Supreme Court will consider the lawsuit filed by Asian students denied entry into Harvard and North Carolina due to affirmative action for blacks and Hispanics. So far, this suit has led to the publication of embarrassing data showing just how heavy the quota thumb is on the scale.


Sixth, the public doesn’t like racial preferences, because they are inherently discriminatory: