Ivy Leagues are a Part of Systematic Oppression

When most people hear the term “ivy leagues”, they think about the eight most prestigious universities in America. These are schools in which only 5% of kids receive an acceptance letter, the average incoming is GPA is above a 4.0, and when you are accepted (and graduated), you have officially become an elite member of society. The truth is that these colleges have been drenched in racial discrimination since the 17th century and are the shining images of the American Dream -- for real Americans only of course. So, if this is true, then why do they receive such a good rep?

First off, the eight schools are:

- Brown University

-Columbia University

-Cornell University

-Dartmouth College

-Harvard University

-Princeton University

-University of Pennsylvania

-Yale University

I'm sure you have heard of at least one of these colleges mentioned throughout your lifetime. These are the images of prestige in the American society -- and status symbols are greatly valued, despite any mishaps that occurred in the past and the future.

Aspiring applicants these days must go above and beyond: perfect SAT and ACT scores, a GPA above 4.0, and extra curriculars that not only demonstrate leadership skills but contribute to the scholar's future plans. These are qualities that not many low-income students have the opportunity to achieve.

Many students do poorly in school due to their financial needs or do not have the time to attend extra curricular activities. Most importantly, they do not have a mentor (e.g. an older sibling, a counselor, family members, etc.). Those that do are the lucky ones who escape the socialization of their background. Many youth who come from a difficult environment often are not told about opportunities that are offered to low-income populations. Therefore, who are these kids who often receive full scholarships to the school of their dream?

These are kids who participate in programs that are advantageous to building their resume; they often are involved with mentors who find their aspiration and develop it. These are students who receive good grades and are on the path to greatness. Now let's look at the opposing side.

What happens to the students who fall through the cracks? Nothing. In fact, even though they might have a similar background to one of these stellar students, nothing is offered to them. What is might not likely interest them or they do not qualify. One way [out of many] Ivy Leagues cause systematic oppression, is having standards that align with that of children with privileged such as unusual extra curriculars (e.g. dancing or theater) -- activities that can cost. The bigger idea that I am trying to get to, is that the groups of people that do not have access to these opportunities or are not told of them, are people of color. Not only is it people of color, but minority groups in general (e.g. foster youth). However, I want to know what your thoughts are. Please do comment below. Thank you!

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