Wednesday, January 15, 2020
New York Times, That Recruitment Letter From Harvard Probably Doesn’t Mean Much:
The message, emailed to more than 100,000 high school students, was seductive and flattering: “Your strong grades and standardized test scores indicate to us that Harvard and other selective institutions may be possibilities for you.”
Harvard encouraged them to apply. But many of the recipients had little chance of getting in, especially if they were black, according to a new analysis of the university’s admissions data by three economists.
Peter Arcidiacono (Duke), Josh Kinsler (Georgia) & Tyler Ransom (Oklahoma), Recruit to Reject? Harvard and African American Applicants:
Over the past 20 years, elite colleges in the US have seen dramatic increases in applications. We provide context for part of this trend using detailed data on Harvard University that was unsealed as part of the SFFA v. Harvard lawsuit. We show that Harvard encourages applications from many students who effectively have no chance of being admitted, and that this is particularly true for African Americans. African American applications soared beginning with the Class of 2009, with the increase driven by those with lower SAT scores. Yet there was little change in the share of admits who were African American. We show that this change in applicant behavior resulted in substantial convergence in the overall admissions rates across races yet no change in the large cross-race differences in admissions rates for high-SAT applicants.