In Grad Admissions, Where Is Class? | Teachers College Columbia University

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In Grad Admissions, Where Is Class?

Thomas P. Rock: "we have to look at all categories. Many schools -'" Teachers College included -'" are discussing how to include socioeconomic status"

Some have suggested that colleges need broader definitions of diversity and that they should consider socioeconomic class as well as such factors as race and ethnicity. Many colleges do so, and explicitly note that they are trying to recruit “first generation” students or those from low-income families. But what about graduate admissions? Individual departments tend to make the decisions and those decisions affect not only who is studying for a Ph.D. but who will be in the next generation of professors. A study just published in PS: Political Science and Politics suggests that in graduate departments, class may be nowhere to be found in admissions decisions.

Thomas P. Rock, immediate past president of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, said that he suspects the results would be similar in other disciplines. Rock, interim executive director of enrollment services at Teachers College of Columbia University, said that most graduate applications follow federal race and ethnicity categories and leave it at that. He said that he has heard some discussion in the graduate admissions world of adding a “white Appalachian” category.

Rock said that there is interest among graduate admissions officials in looking for ways to consider socioeconomic status. But he said that one concern is whether asking questions might leave some applicants nervous that their lack of money would count against them in admissions. Still, Rock said that the political science study pointed to an important issue. “Personally, I think we have to look at all categories. Many schools — Teachers College included — are discussing how to include socioeconomic status,” he said.
 
The article, "In Grad Admissions, Where Is Class?” appeared at July 9th on "Inside Higher Ed" http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/07/09/class

Published Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008

In Grad Admissions, Where Is Class?

Some have suggested that colleges need broader definitions of diversity and that they should consider socioeconomic class as well as such factors as race and ethnicity. Many colleges do so, and explicitly note that they are trying to recruit “first generation” students or those from low-income families. But what about graduate admissions? Individual departments tend to make the decisions and those decisions affect not only who is studying for a Ph.D. but who will be in the next generation of professors. A study just published in PS: Political Science and Politics suggests that in graduate departments, class may be nowhere to be found in admissions decisions.

Thomas P. Rock, immediate past president of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, said that he suspects the results would be similar in other disciplines. Rock, interim executive director of enrollment services at Teachers College of Columbia University, said that most graduate applications follow federal race and ethnicity categories and leave it at that. He said that he has heard some discussion in the graduate admissions world of adding a “white Appalachian” category.

Rock said that there is interest among graduate admissions officials in looking for ways to consider socioeconomic status. But he said that one concern is whether asking questions might leave some applicants nervous that their lack of money would count against them in admissions. Still, Rock said that the political science study pointed to an important issue. “Personally, I think we have to look at all categories. Many schools — Teachers College included — are discussing how to include socioeconomic status,” he said.
 
The article, "In Grad Admissions, Where Is Class?” appeared at July 9th on "Inside Higher Ed" http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/07/09/class
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