After reading this New York Times opinion piece on "the privileged poor" who benefit from going to elite high schools before entering college. Having read that piece, and seeing the research and statistics which fueled the author's opinions, I'm faced with the startling realization with what was wrong with my transition to the elite liberal arts college I attended. I'm upset at myself, mostly, as these conclusions shed light on a few troubling moments during my 4 years spent going to school in Northern Vermont. Moments with which I wish I had conducted myself better, and for which I'm also ashamed of my behavior. But in my defense, this article also shows that perhaps I was not entirely to blame.
Seriously, you should go read it. Here's an excerpt:
"My research shows that, on average, half of the lower-income black undergraduates at elite colleges today come from private high schools like Andover and Dalton. As early as middle school (and sometimes sooner), students participate in programs like Prep for Prep and A Better Chance. These programs remove lower-income students from typically distressed public schools and place them in predominantly white, resource-rich, affluent private schools. Elite colleges effectively hedge their bets: They recruit those already familiar with the social and cultural norms that pervade their own campuses.
"As a sociologist, I study this new diversity at elite colleges. I call lower-income undergraduates who graduated from private high schools the privileged poor. Although they receive excellent educations, my research shows that their ability to navigate the informal social rules that govern elite college life is what really gives them advantages relative to their lower-income peers who did not attend elite high schools, those whom I call the doubly disadvantaged.Although also academically gifted and driven, they enter college with less exposure to the unsaid expectations of elite academic settings."