Elite colleges teach students to be smug, wrote Andrew Delbanco, director of American Studies at Columbia, in a New York Times commentary.
If each Ivy League college committed to accepting transfer students from community colleges for 1 percent of their junior classes, privileged students would begin to encounter students from the other 99 percent. Research confirms that low-income and minority transfer students, after being transformed by a community college education, graduate at the same or higher rates than students who began at the same college.
Making transfers a part of the elite colleges would provide living proof that intelligence, drive and achievement are not the sole province of students born with good fortune, but are as alive as the American dream among strivers at community colleges.
Elite colleges have tried to create racial and ethnic diversity, but have paid little attention to socioeconomic diversity. Taking community college transfers — and military veterans — would shake up the smug.