It’s heartening to learn that children of immigrants and the first in their families to attend college have been accepted at the Ivies (“ ‘Their future is bright:’ Bronx high-schoolers celebrate Ivy League acceptances,” New York Daily News, Dec. 12). I wish them all the best for their success.
But their ability to flourish there is not assured. Even if they have been prepared to handle rigorous academic work by their public high schools, they may not be as well prepared socially. Many students in the Ivies come from tony prep schools where they have been socially interacting for most of their young lives. As a result, the transition to college is far less daunting than it is for students from low-income families.
I saw that first-hand when I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1950s. Although Penn in that era had many students from public schools, they never fit in as well as students from legendary prep schools. I hope things have changed in that regard, but it remains to be seen if social interaction is less important today than in the past.
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