Response to recent conversation

DC: “These students may not have as high SAT and ACT scores due to the lack of access to test-prep programs that their wealthier peers have.” Seriously? Or maybe they don’t have as high scores because they aren’t ready to perform at that level. It’s actually very possible that none of them can deal with the pressures of Emory or Tech. … That’s not what folks want to hear, but maybe it’s just reality. And letting (those students) in, only to have them fail and destroy their confidence, is an awful move.

Centrist: Georgia Tech, Emory and many other (not all) top colleges do not give special treatment or affirmative action help to low-income students (unless they are on athletic scholarships). They offer the same extra instruction, tutors, etc. for all students. I suspect many low-income students who are “well qualified” know they have been given special treatment, but it is time to sink or swim in college — and too many before them have sunk at Tech and Emory. Better to have a degree from somewhere else and seek high-demand minority status employment than seek employment as a college dropout.

Enoch: There might be something to talk about here if these highly qualified graduates had taken tough classes, and had good grades and test scores to match. Being the product of a low-achieving school is not qualification for attending a great school. Alex writes: Emory’s actions “make me doubt my alma mater is fulfilling its duty and mission to provide access to the those struggling to get out of the lower class.” Really? Emory’s duty and mission — its reason for being — is class mobility? Has anyone told the school?

Don’t Tread: Are these “high achievers” in Clayton really high achievers when compared with other schools, or “high achievers” because they’re being compared to the rest of the students in their own school? Goodness, that’s setting the bar real high, isn’t it? All the “high achievers” need to do is show up for school, don’t drop out, don’t go to jail, and halfway pay attention in class, and they’re 75 percent of the way there. Unfortunately for them, the admission criteria (and coursework) for Emory or Tech is a tad more demanding than what they’re used to. And the kids know this, which is why they go elsewhere. If these kids choose the path of least resistance, you cannot logically fault Emory or Tech for some “failure” to meet some arbitrary standard.

MTaylor: I am happy that Alex is teaching at Jonesboro and has such concern for his students. I am a graduate of both Jonesboro High School and Georgia Tech. I think that Tech and Emory should make a greater effort to recruit students from high schools such as Jonesboro. It provides the colleges with a more diverse student body. It also might show other students at the high school that they can make it to a top-tier college.

Fred: I fight this battle all the time as I reach out to poor smart kids, especially minorities, who excelled in high school. Why don’t you apply to Emory? I can’t afford it. Did you know that if you are admitted to Emory, Duke or Harvard, or any top private school, they will find the money for you to attend? No, I didn’t know that. I wish I had before I started here at Perimeter, Clayton State, etc.

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