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FOX | Spread the Wealth

The concentrated wealth at Cornell University is palpable. Large donations, legacy status and well-connected private schools all work in tandem to ensure that over 10 percent of students hail from the wealthiest one percent of families. The trade-off between this history and admissions equity is generally justified with the understanding that the wealth these families bring in — both through full-tuition payments and donations — does a great service to Cornell as a whole, and its low-income students in particular. 
In his op-ed last semester, Rory Walsh ’21 said of the money coming in from the families of wealthy students, “If not for their contributions, Cornell would likely be less accessible for low-income students.” The administration hails large donations as “provid[ing] critical, permanent support for faculty, students and programs.” They are correct: The funding derived from these students and their families both improves and makes possible the educational experiences of thousands of Cornell students, and allows for the development of public-oriented research and development, the benefits of which are undeniable. Still, this is a poor bargain — not for Cornell, but for the broader education system in America. The system of legacy and donor priority in admissions ought to be discontinued.

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KIM | Big Red Hunger

With the semester coming to an end with four more weeks of school left, I took a peek at how many BRBs I had left. Opening the GET app has always been a moment of tension and anticipation. BRBs, despite being just regular money labeled in special Cornell jargon, represent my special Martha’s Cafe salad money, my midday hazelnut latte money and my Chobani mango yogurt money. BRBs are special and are my resource for funding my meals on a daily basis. With the lack of dining halls accepting meal swipes, the amount of BRBs I have determines the fate of my next meals.

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Universities Nationwide Plan to Launch New Application Platform

A group of 80 public and private universities announced plans on Sept. 28 to improve the college admission process by launching a new application platform. The group, which includes all eight Ivy League institutions, is known as the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success and aims to reshape the traditional approach to admissions and increase educational access for low-income families and underrepresented groups. The coalition formed in response to barriers low-income students often face in the college admissions process. They plan to launch a new application website which they hope will make the process more broadly accessible. 
“The schools in the Coalition have individually tried many different and creative approaches to address these challenges,” said Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale University, in a statement from the coalition.