The Merit Myth
Federal Policy
Cover of book: The Merit Myth

The Merit Myth

How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America

Posted: May 26, 2020
Author(s): Anthony P. Carnevale, Peter Schmidt, Jeff Strohl
Organization(s): Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce presents a framework for system-wide change with policy recommendations including:

  • End the overreliance on the SAT and ACT, since GPA has been shown to be a better predictor of academic success
  • Halt legacy admissions, as they do no more than perpetuate the insularity of selective colleges
  • Require every college to have at least 20% low-income students (Pell Grant recipients)
  • Strike a balance between class-based and race-based affirmative action
  • Evaluate colleges based on their outputs—graduates’ income, ability to find a good job, and increase in social mobility—rather than their selectivity and the academic profile of their incoming class
  • Treat high school, college, and careers as one system
  • Improve career counseling, and elevate the role of these counselors in colleges

For more on THE MERIT MYTH, including ordering options, visit

Groups Call on CSU to Drop SAT Scores in Admissions | Public News Service | May 26, 2020
California State University suspends SAT/ACT testing for 2021-22 admissions | Daily Democrat | April 17, 2020