This NYT article is an immense tribute to the work Amherst president Anthony Marx has put into recognizing and accounting for the disadvantages that low and even middle income high schoolers face when applying to college.
“In his 2003 inaugural address, Mr. Marx — quoting from a speech President John F. Kennedy had given at Amherst — asked, “What good is a private college unless it is serving a great national purpose?”…
…“We claim to be part of the American dream and of a system based on merit and opportunity and talent,” Mr. Marx says. “Yet if at the top places, two-thirds of the students come from the top quartile and only 5 percent come from the bottom quartile, then we are actually part of the problem of the growing economic divide rather than part of the solution.”
I think Amherst has created a model for attracting talented low- and middle-income students that other colleges can copy. It borrows, in part, from the University of California, which is by far the most economically diverse top university system in the country. But before we get to the details, I want to address a question that often comes up in this discussion:
Does more economic diversity necessarily mean lower admissions standards?
No, it does not.”
Marx’s career jump to head New York City’s public library recieved press in May’s issue of Vanity Fair.**
**That is not Anthony Marx on the cover. He is MUCH better looking.