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.


Monday, July 27, 2009

New Study Appears Likely to Complicate the Debate Over Legacy Admissions

A new study of alumni of a selective research university concludes that families can feel inclined to donate to such institutions for reasons that extend well beyond simply trying to increase the likelihood of their children getting in.

Having a child approaching college age does appear to make alumni predisposed toward generosity toward their alma maters: The probability of alumni's making gifts increased by 12.9 percentage points if a child of theirs attended, and those gifts were about 48 percent larger than the ones given by alumni without family connections.

But other family ties also appeared to influence giving, in ways that could not easily be attributed to a desire to secure an applicant an advantage. Having a parent, aunt or uncle, or mother-in-law or father-in-law who graduated from the same institution all appeared to make alumni significantly more likely to donate, and those with a sibling who attended the same college, while no more likely than others to donate, tended on average donate more.

See the Chronicle of Higher Education Web site for a full summary of the study by Jonathan Meer, a Stanford University doctoral student who recently accepted a position as an assistant professor of economics at Texas A&M University at College Station, and Harvey S. Rosen, a professor of economics and business policy at Princeton University and co-director of Princeton's Center for Economic Policy Studies.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Arizona to Vote on a Ban on Affirmative-Action Preferences in 2010

Arizona lawmakers have agreed to put a proposed constitutional amendment curtailing the use of affirmative-action preferences on the ballot next year.

With the state legislature's decision last month to put the measure before voters, Arizona becomes the first state to have such a measure put on the ballot through legislative action rather than a citizen petition drive. The campaign on behalf of the measure had tried using the petition-gathering route to put it before voters last November, but they failed to gather enough signatures by a state-imposed deadline.

The Arizona referendum calls for the state Constitution to be amended to ban public colleges and other state and local agencies from granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in employment, contracting, and education-related decisions. It is very similar in its wording to the measures that have been adopted by California, Michigan, Nebraska, and Washington State and to a measure which failed narrowly in Colorado last fall.

Many political analysts believe the Arizona measure should pass easily, especially given that state's fairly conservative political climate and tensions there over immigration.