What I mean is: elite colleges want to recruit tomorrow’s powerful, and they don’t think the smart kids from humble backgrounds who rely on the SAT are going to be it. They might be wrong but it does feel like the “cognitive elite” has been getting a bit less cognitive recently
— Michael Story ⚓ (@MWStory) December 20, 2021
This is an interesting perspective, but I’m not sure if it is true. Big institutions often do things for dumb reasons these days. In some ways, wealth generation these days seems more related to coding, crypto, and other cognition-intensive functions than ever before.
On the other hand, Harvard has traditionally functioned as the Smart Money when it comes to college admissions methods, so it’s not crazy to think that Harvard had crunched some numbers that suggested to them that making admissions tests optional would not lower alumni giving in a generation.
Colleges’ internal studies of who gives what to the old alma mater are an important piece of evidence explaining something about our social system that I’ve never seen published for the public in recent decades. Maybe Robert Klitgaard’s “Choosing Elites” in 1985 had something on donations to Harvard? Has anybody seen anything more recent?
I wish I could find some way to bet on the proposition that within 5-10 years, firms that rely more on hiring from elite colleges will underperform those that hire more broadly, other factors held constant.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 18, 2021