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September 01, 2008

Re "Admitted but broke," Opinion, Aug. 24

The cost of college is staggering. However, the price range is broad. Zoe Mendelson worries that her middle-class friends cannot afford the pricier colleges. Affording only inexpensive institutions, according to Mendelson, "undermines the meritocracy that we claim as a nation."

The truth is that her friends could learn just as much and likely would receive equivalent or, depending on their majors, better educations at less-expensive schools.

What Mendelson is really describing is our "accredi-tocracy" or "certifi-tocracy." Yes, her friends might do better with more expensive contacts and credentials on their resumes. However, in a real meritocracy, they would be in better shape if they saved their money instead.

Andrew Diener

Los Angeles

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