This tweet, including the phrase "far more classist", can't be clearly understood by me.

By saying "far more classist", the author appears to criticize classism or classist bias that are rooted in a holistic admissions process and she (Sarah Haider) thus appreciates a process that is based purely on merit. Is it what she means by tweeting the following?

Sam Harris liked Sarah Haider tweeted: It can be argued that a holistic admissions process is far, far more classist than one that is based purely on merit.

Source: Twitter Sarah Haider

1 Answer 1


A merit-based application system is a system that ranks (and accepts) students based only on their academic achievement. Usually this takes the form of scores on standardized tests, because a ranking system ultimately needs to have some sort of quantifiable number as an input.

Some people argue that this merit-only based system is classist, meaning "biased for or against certain classes" (in this case socioeconomic classes). This is because students who are well-off, and students who are not minorities, are more likely to live in wealthier communities with better-funded schools. Therefore they have received better-quality education than their less-fortunate peers, and the fact that they scored better on a test does not really mean they are better academically (or at least not inherently). So these people argue for a more "holistic" approach to the applications process, for example weighting or correcting minority students' scores as a way of balancing out their disadvantages.

Other people (including Sarah Haider) argue that this "holistic" approach is more classist than the original system, because it assumes that poorer or minority students need extra help in the first place—it looks down on them on the basis of their class before looking more closely at their scores.

So to answer your question, yes, your understanding is correct. Sarah Haider is arguing against classist policies, and in her opinion a holistic admissions process is more classist than the traditional merit-based process.

  • Thank you for both of your replies.
    – NewPlanet
    Apr 6, 2021 at 4:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .