Battlepanda: Economic diversity at Amherst


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Economic diversity at Amherst

Proud of my Alma Mater today...
AMHERST, Mass. — The discussion in the States of Poverty seminar here at Amherst College was getting a little theoretical. Then Anthony Abraham Jack, a junior from Miami, asked pointedly, “Has anyone here ever actually seen a food stamp?”

To Mr. Jack, unlike many of his classmates, food stamps are not an abstraction. His family has had to use them in emergencies. His mother raised three children as a single parent and earns $26,000 a year as a school security guard. That is just a little more than half the cost of a year’s tuition, room and board, fees and other expenses at Amherst, which for Mr. Jack’s class was close to $48,000.

So when Mr. Jack, now 22 and a senior, graduated with honors here on Sunday, he was not just the first in his family to earn a college degree, but a success story in the effort by Amherst and a growing number of elite colleges to open their doors to talented low-income students.
The article also an interesting point -- race-based affirmative action would not have helped Jack since most of those that benefit are middle-class/affluent blacks. This supports my long-time position that affirmative action needs to be class-based, not race-based.

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