Admissions Criteria

A while ago now I read in a news magazine that a study of the admission patterns of fifty of the top colleges and universities in the U.S. reveals that it is very difficult to get admitted to one of these schools if a student is both poor and white. Why? The study, done by two Princeton professors, shows that “most private colleges don’t want to waste limited scholarship money on students who don’t enhance the racial diversity of a campus: ‘Poor whites are apparently given little weight as enhancers of campus diversity, while poor non-whites count twice in the diversity tally, once as racial minorities and a second time as socio-economically deprived.'”

The article went on to point out a further conclusion of the study: “Participation in Future Farmers of America, ROTC, and 4-H Clubs, especially at the leadership level, is the kiss of death for kids with Ivy-colored dreams.” It is no secret that these activities are more prevalent in so-called red states and that the participants in such activities often are raised with a greater level of patriotism exhibited in their homes and communities and are more likely to live in communities where church attendance is high. It is a sad reality that most top schools in our country are concerned with only a certain kind of diversity, much like the politicians and politically active civil rights organizations in our country tend to promote only a certain kind of tolerance. This diversity and tolerance is increasingly used to limit exactly what it supposedly exists to promote.

Political concerns and discussions aside (I do not have the time or space to go into all of that right now) this article reminded me of the admissions criteria for a far more important and “prestigious” group than America’s top colleges and universities. Aren’t you glad that the family of God does not have such ridiculous screening procedures? If God admitted us into His family based only on what we could bring to the table or what our ancestry, race, socioeconomic status, etc. could do for His “image” I would be in serious trouble–and so would you. Because when it comes to the family of God we do not have anything that He needs. We cannot possibly, at our best moment on our best day, offer anything that would come close to meriting His attention or His acceptance. Thankfully He has only one criteria for admission, admission is open to anyone willing to meet that criteria, there is no limit on the grace and mercy He has available, and there is no cap on the size of His family. Aren’t you glad?

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