Tony Jack, an assistant professor at Harvard and author of The Privileged Poor, was once a low-income, first-generation college student who now studies how poor students are often failed by the top schools that admit them. During his talk, he will detail how class divides on campus create barriers to academic success—and he will share what schools can do to truly level the playing field. Jack talk draws on his interviews with 103 undergraduates and two years of observing everyday life at an elite university to examine how class and culture shape how undergraduates navigate college by exploring the “experiential core of college life,” those too often overlooked moments between getting in and graduating. Jack’s work interrogates the social and personal costs of exclusion that have implications for undergraduates’ objective opportunities and their social well-being.
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