Spring Common Read

The Privileged Poor:  How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students by Anthony Abraham Jack

Discussion Group Meeting: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 • 12pm-1pm • Duffy 135
Please bring your own lunch. Dessert will be provided.

Audience: Faculty, Staff & Students

Getting in is only half the battle. The Privileged Poor reveals how―and why―disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges, and explains what schools can do differently if these students are to thrive.

The Ivy League looks different than it used to. College presidents and deans of admission have opened their doors―and their coffers―to support a more diverse student body. But is it enough just to admit these students? In The Privileged Poor, Anthony Jack reveals that the struggles of less privileged students continue long after they’ve arrived on campus. Admission, they quickly learn, is not the same as acceptance. This bracing and necessary book documents how university policies and cultures can exacerbate preexisting inequalities and reveals why these policies hit some students harder than others.

Despite their lofty aspirations, top colleges hedge their bets by recruiting their new diversity largely from the same old sources, admitting scores of lower-income black, Latino, and white undergraduates from elite private high schools like Exeter and Andover. These students approach campus life very differently from students who attended local, and typically troubled, public high schools and are often left to flounder on their own. Drawing on interviews with dozens of undergraduates at one of America’s most famous colleges and on his own experiences as one of the privileged poor, Jack describes the lives poor students bring with them and shows how powerfully background affects their chances of success.

If we truly want our top colleges to be engines of opportunity, university policies and campus cultures will have to change. Jack provides concrete advice to help schools reduce these hidden disadvantages―advice we cannot afford to ignore.  (Book description from Amazon.com)

To win a free copy of the book, please RSVP to diversity@stonehill.edu. Winners of the book will be notified on Monday, February 3, 2020. Please note winners are expected to attend the book club discussion.

Past Common Reads:

  • The Poet X - Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The Fifth Diamond - Irene Weisberg Zisblatt
  • Becoming Nicole:  The Transformation of an American Family - Amy Ellis Nuit
  • The Sun Does Shine:  How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row - Anthony Ray Hinton
  • The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After – Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
  • Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion & Reinvention – Jamal Joseph
  • The Refugees – Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah
  • Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor – James J. O’Connell
  • Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream – Joshua Davis
  • Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation – Eli Clare
  • There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America – Alex Kotlowitz
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
  • Under the Overpass – Mike Yankoski
  • The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Say You Are One of Them – Uwem Akpan