What people say about Color and Money-

"Anyone interested in the inequities of the selective college admissions process will find Color and Money clear-eyed, hard-hitting, enlightening, and informative."--Rachel Toor, author of Admissions Confidential: An Insider's Account of the Elite College Selection Process.
"For those concerned about why the march toward social justice in America has faltered badly for nearly forty years, Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a highly instructive--and greatly disturbing--guidepost." --Richard Kluger, author of Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality.
"An indispensible guide to the debate over affirmative action in the United States."--Michael Lind, author of The Next American Nation.
"This book is a must read for anyone concerned with access to higher education, especially to the nation’s elite universities, as well as with larger questions of social policy and social justice."--Terry MacTaggart, Former Chancellor, University of Maine System
"Books on the highly-charged issue of affirmative action are usually one-sided and inflammatory. Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a wonderful exception. It provides an honest and fair examination that is also passionate and illuminating."--Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action

Peter Schmidt is available as a speaker

Peter Schmidt is available to speak at colleges, bookstores, schools, churches, and at gatherings of education associations. His past speaking engagements are listed at the bottom of this Web site. If interested in having him appear, e-mail him at schmidt_peter@msn.com. He also is available as an expert source for journalists covering affirmative action. Those on a tight deadline should email him at peter.schmidt@chronicle.com.

Hear interviews with Peter Schmidt

Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Public Radio talked to Peter Schmidt about Color and Money in August. You can hear the interview here. Reading the book inspired Jack to write an essay on it, which you can read here. You also can hear Peter Schmidt talk about his book on the NPR program Justice Talking and in a Chronicle of Higher Education podcast.

Color and Money Is a College Course!

Many college professors are now using Color and Money in their classes, but Jack Dougherty, the director of the educational studies program at Trinity College in Connecticut, has gone a big step beyond. He has decided to name a freshman seminar "Color and Money" and to structure the class around the book. He has graciously agreed to share his syllabus, available here, for faculty members at other colleges who may have the same idea.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Something for You on Your Front Porch, Harvard

Today's Boston Globe has an essay by Peter Schmidt discussing how elite colleges may be thwarting social mobility, and contributing to the complacency and academic mediocrity of children raised in privilege, by favoring applicants with cash and connections. It cites research concluding that 15 percent of the students at colleges in Barron's top two tiers are white kids who failed to meet their institution's academic standards. UPDATE: A letter written to the Boston Globe in response to the essay asserts that there simply are not many qualified low-income applicants out there, and elite colleges generally try hard to take in those who qualify. As discussed in Color and Money, there is indeed a phenomenon on college admissions called "the knighting effect," in which selective colleges show a high degree of interest in academically excellent students from seriously poor backgrounds. It does not appear to apply, however, to students whose family incomes are working class or above, or whose standardized admissions test scores are less than top-notch. For a careful empirical analysis of how many talented low-income students are not making into into selective colleges, see this study by Williams College researchers. While the letter writer is correct in noting that many of the selective-college applicants being elbowed aside by those who donate or have connections are themselves from privileged backgrounds, he fails to see the impact of such admissions preferences on applicants who are working-class or middle-class. It will be tough to have intergenerational social mobility if the children of those on the middle rungs of the economic ladder find their upward progress blocked.