There is a conflicting paradox in the merit-based system to grant educational access in higher education. The pursuit of higher education is a recognized method of upward class mobility, yet those in the lowest socioeconomic classes are relatively underrepresented in the demographics of students who attend college. This research analyzed ten works, varying from novels to academic journals, to deduct conclusions about the current governance of testocratic meritocracy in higher education and how it disables unequal educational opportunity for students with limited parental capital. This phenomenon is important to evaluate because unequal distribution of educational opportunity restricts potential for upward class mobility, which will concentrate wealth to the already wealthy. Students should not be penalized for their lack of parental class capital, however the disregard for testocratic merit’s actual value as a wealth-based merit hinders any change in educational democracy. The cycle of financial, social, and cultural prosperity will continue to circulate through higher education because of the hidden measure of testocratic merit. Paired with a pre-existing orientation to privileged students, the utilization of testocratic merit has corrupted the opportunistic intents of higher education.
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