Kristen Meinzer: “I still regularly hear people talk about graduates of ‘elite’ schools as if they’re smarter and more driven.”

Twitter thread from Kristen Meinzer, Host of @ByTheBookPod

1/7 In my early days of working in the media in NYC, a coworker said, “It’s interesting how most midwesterners go to state schools; I guess you all like to stick close to home.” I was shocked by the classism. I said nothing. But here’s what I wish I would have said:

2/7 Fewer than half of Americans have college degrees. Of those who do, a very large percentage are first generation college students or the children of first generation students, who are taught little about how to apply for any college, other than the state school in their area.

3/7 Of those who are taught the ins and outs of applying for “elite” schools, a large percentage can’t afford the test prep courses, college consultants, campus visits, and application costs – all of which add up to thousands of dollars.

4/7 Of those who can scrape together those costs, most still won’t apply, knowing their family income won’t cover the costs. For reference: Cornell’s tuition, housing, and meal plan is currently over $80,000 per year; the median household income in America is currently $78,000.

5/7 It’s not just midwesterners who go to state schools. The vast majority of Americans do. And it’s not because they lack intelligence or ambition; and it’s not a sign that state schools are “inferior” institutions that only the worst of society choose to settle for.

6/7 I’ve now been in NYC for 20+ years and I still regularly hear people talk about graduates of “elite” schools as if they’re smarter and more driven. I’ve worked for companies that only actively recruit from “elite” schools – companies that claim to be champions of the masses.

7/7 And yet they ask: “Why don’t we have more diverse teams? And Kristen, why did you go to your state school? Was it because you were afraid to venture off too far from home?”

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