No one can deny WashU’s strengths as an academic institution. Boasting some of the best faculty in the world and vibrant extracurriculars the university is frequently ranked among the most elite in the nation. There is, however, one category in which WashU has nearly always ranked very close to last: socioeconomic diversity.
A now-infamous 2017 study by the New York Times found that WashU managed to top the list of least socioeconomic universities in the United States. The report prompted outcry from the student body and surrounding, including numerous hard-hitting StudLife op-eds and local news coverage, but little progress has been made in the intervening years.
But no longer will public cries for change go unheeded because last weekend, the Washington University administration announced a bold, far-reaching new plan to increase socioeconomic diversity among future classes: admit more billionaires.
This unprecedented move to include more of the nation’s uber-rich brats in WashU’s student populace was prompted by the recent college admissions scandal in which parents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to ensure their offspring’s acceptance into their top-choice universities.
“If there’s anything that this scandal has shown the university, it is that we have left the talent and tuition money of an entire demographic largely untapped for far too long,” wrote Chancellor-Elect Andrew Martin, who has been the driving force behind the change, in a university-wide announcement email.