Letter: Hold UChicago Accountable For Its Lack of Accessibility To Low-Income Students

By Robert Michaelson

To the Editor,

I am disappointed that The Maroon, which frequently covers the essentially meaningless university rankings from U.S. News and similar sources, seems to ignore the rankings from Washington Monthly, which directly relate to what schools are doing—or not doing—for our country.

In WM’s most recent rankings of national universities, it is distressing to find that the University of Chicago is ranked at a dismally low 192nd in “Social mobility” (recruiting and graduating low-income students). Additionally, its percentage of students who are first-generation is only 12 percent.  Compare these showings to our supposed peer institutions, such as Yale, which is 14th in “Social mobility” with 20 percent first-generation students; or Columbia, which is 21st in “Social mobility” with 20 percent first-generation students.

These and other WM measures are direct consequences of meaningful university policies, unlike the U.S. News categories, which rely on “crude and easily manipulated measures of wealth, exclusivity, and prestige,” as WM puts it. Mr. Zimmer, Mr. Boyer, and Mr. Nondorf are responsible for the University’s abysmal showing, and thus they should be held accountable by The Maroon. I hope that I can look forward to articles questioning them on this matter.

Robert Michaelson
S.B. ’66
Evanston, IL