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Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Mismatch and Ph.D.s



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There’s an article in Inside Higher Ed today titled “Matches and Mismatches in Producing Ph.D.’s.” It actually does not talk about the “mismatch effect” identified long ago by Thomas Sowell and brilliantly documented more recently by UCLA’s Richard Sander, namely that racial preferences end up hurting their supposed beneficiaries by placing them in institutions where their credentials are worse than most other students’, setting them up for failure. But even though this point is not discussed in the article, it is supported by a table at the end.

That table lists the “Top Institutions at Producing Minority Graduates Who Go on to Earn Doctorates,” and all ten of them are unlikely to practice admissions preferences (either because they are historically black schools, or because they are forbidden by state law from using preferences, or both): Howard, Spelman, Florida A&M, Hampton, Southern, Jackson State, Morehouse, Michigan, North Carolina A&T, and UC-Berkeley.

I know that the significance of this fact can be disputed (Michigan’s ban on preferences is recent, Berkeley may cheat, the historically black schools simply have a lot of black students, period), but I’m just saying.



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