The Privileged Poor

By Anthony Abraham Jack,

Book cover of The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students

Book description

An NPR Favorite Book of the Year

"Breaks new ground on social and educational questions of great import."
-Washington Post

"An essential work, humane and candid, that challenges and expands our understanding of the lives of contemporary college students."
-Paul Tough, author of Helping Children Succeed

"Eye-opening...Brings home the pain…


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Why read it?

1 author picked The Privileged Poor as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

US elite universities are both an engine of inequality and an environment where inequality is particularly evident. 

In this book Harvard professor Abraham Jack explores how low-income students fare when accepted to a prestigious and expensive college.

The book distinguishes between the “privileged poor” who attended private high schools before arriving to campus and the “double disadvantaged” which come from underfunded, state schools. 

Through many interviews and everyday examples, Abraham Jack shows how inequality is both about income and social capital and demonstrates the complexity of creating a more just society in a country like the United States. 

Although the…

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