To the Editor:
David Leonhardt forgot about me. I grew up in suburban Pennsylvania and attended private school before Bryn Mawr College, the University of Pennsylvania and now the University of Oxford. And yes, my parents paid for it all.
I realize that not needing to work at 7-Eleven afforded me more time to study, read and learn. But I used it. Acceptance letters don't come because my parents foot the bill; kids like me get in because we are responsible, passionate and talented.
In theory, hard-working, low-income kids deserve help; in practice, their 1,250 SAT scores' counting for more than my 1,300 doesn't reflect meritocracy.
College admissions are a zero-sum game. Universities putting their "thumb on the scale" for a South Bronx applicant's 1,250 lessens the weight of my achievements. His 1,250's win is my loss.
JAIMIE ARONA KREMS
Philadelphia, May 27, 2011
I'm willing to listen to arguments against certain forms of affirmative action, and I have some sympathy for those less advantaged white students who believe that "their spots" at a given college have gone to significantly less-qualified minority students. I think that belief is almost always unfounded, but I can still understand the aggrieved sense of exclusion felt by students from the struggling middle classes.
But this aggrieved sense of exclusion from someone who is wealthy and entitled is breathtaking. (And, seriously: a person with all her time, money, and alleged talent should do better than 1300 on the SAT--or at any rate score more than 50 points higher than a disadvantaged kid from the Bronx.)
Shorter Ms. Krems: people like her deserve all rather than most of the cookies.