Against the backdrop of today's increasingly multicultural society, are America's elite colleges admitting and successfully educating a diverse student body? No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal pulls back the curtain on the selective college experience and takes a rigorous and comprehensive look at how race and social class impact each stage--from application and admission, to enrollment and student life on campus. Arguing that elite higher education contributes to both social mobility and inequality, the authors investigate such areas as admission advantages for minorities, academic achievement gaps tied to race and class, unequal burdens in paying for tuition, and satisfaction with college experiences.
The book's analysis is based on data provided by the National Survey of College Experience, collected from more than nine thousand students who applied to one of ten selective colleges between the early 1980s and late 1990s. The authors explore the composition of applicant pools, factoring in background and "selective admission enhancement strategies"--including AP classes, test-prep courses, and extracurriculars--to assess how these strengthen applications. On campus, the authors examine roommate choices, friendship circles, and degrees of social interaction, and discover that while students from different racial and class circumstances are not separate in college, they do not mix as much as one might expect. The book encourages greater interaction among student groups and calls on educational institutions to improve access for students of lower socioeconomic status.
No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal offers valuable insights into the intricate workings of America's elite higher education system.
Thomas J. Espenshade is professor of sociology at Princeton University. Alexandria Walton Radford completed her PhD in sociology at Princeton University and is the associate director of postsecondary education at MPR Associates Inc. in Washington, DC.
"Both supporters and opponents of affirmative action are likely to find ammunition in Thomas J. Espenshade's and Alexandria Walton Radford's book. . . . The authors provide a fascinating peek inside the admissions process at several unnamed universities."--Richard D. Kahlenberg, The Book, the online review at New Republic
"This is a big book, exhaustively researched and packed full of facts, numbers, and prose. . . . No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal is a must-have reference for everyone who pays attention to race and class controversies in higher education."--Robert VerBruggen, National Review
"Ultimately, [the authors] argue that the most important step toward eliminating inequity in higher education and society is to close the achievement gap, and they call for the creation of an effort on the scale of the Manhattan Project to do it."--Angela P. Dodson, Diverse Education
"With this incisive new book, Espenshade and Walton Radford explore the dynamics of differential college access and success in extraordinary detail. . . . The book's most significant contribution may be its persuasive, data-based analysis of affirmative action. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in higher education's role in creating a more equitable society."--Diversity & Democracy
"The authors cover a broad range of elite college admission issues that go beyond race and class, offering detailed perspectives on affirmative action. Researchers of equity issues in higher education, particularly in the selective college admission process as well as college counseling professionals will find, in this thorough and extensive work of research, tools to help clear up what may seem 'mysterious or secret' in the selective college admission process."--Joe Adegboyega-Edun, NACACNet
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations ix
Chapter One: Overview 1
Chapter Two: Preparing for College 14
Chapter Three: What Counts in Being Admitted? 62
Chapter Four: The Entering Freshman Class 130
Chapter Five: Mixing and Mingling on Campus 176
Chapter Six: Academic Performance 226
Chapter Seven: Shouldering the Financial Burden 263
Chapter Eight: Broader Perspectives on the Selective College Experience 298
Chapter Nine: Do We Still Need Affirmative Action? 339
Chapter Ten: Where Do We Go from Here? 378
Appendix A: The NSCE Database 411
Appendix B: Notes on Methodology 431
Appendix C: Additional Tables 462