Education of a senator

30 Jun

While top colleges have been known to buck their admission criteria for the wrong reasons, they, on average, admit smarter students and the academic training they provide is above average. So it may be instructive to know what percentage of Senators, the most elite of the political brass, have graced the hallowed corridors of top academic institutions, and if the proportion attending top colleges varies by party.

While 5 of the 42 Republican senators have attended top colleges (in the top 20), 22 of the 57 Democratic senators have done the same (data are posted here). The skew in numbers may be because New England is home to both top schools and many Democratic senators. But the privilege accorded by the accident of geography is no less consequential than one afforded by some more equitable regime.

Discounting elite education, one may want to look at the extent of education. There one finds that whereas 73% of Democratic senators have an advanced degree, only 64% of Republican senators have the same. While again it is likely that going to top schools increases admission to good advanced degree programs, thereby making getting advanced degrees more attractive perhaps, one can conjecture that whatever the reason, some people, due to mere privilege perhaps, have better skills than others.