Joshua Jackson is a black senior at Brown University studying political science, Africana studies, and Ethnic studies who was faced with elitism after inquiring about a $65 application fee waiver from a prospective graduate program at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.

After receiving this deplorable email from Director of Graduate Admission, Dan Sandford, Jackson took to Twitter to express their disdain.

Jackson considered applying to Tisch because they desired to be involved in a graduate school with a “genuine interest in activism, community collaboration and accessibility.”

However, Sandford’s response left them with the eery feeling that “this program is clearly not meant for us.”

Many who took notice of their ordeal offered to pay Jackson’s $65 application fee. However, they denied offers, requesting that NYU make a public apology to show “how systemic elitist and classist funding structures make education persistently inaccessible at private universities.”

Sandford’s response to Jackson reveals a lingering sense of elitism found in the upper echelon of prestigious universities.

Millions of black millennials across the country apply to elite universities in an attempt to better their chances for excelling in their future careers. Plastered across admissions pamphlets and university websites are smiling faces of color, giving many the allure that they, too, can be happy. However, upon arrival, they are greeted with the facade of inclusion and a system of belittlement and classism.

Jackson’s experience with the director of Tisch admissions points to a problem of systemic classism and racism, leaving thousands of striving black students with a feeling of isolation because of the lack of cultural competency they are faced with from the administration, faculty, staff, and students at predominantly white institutions.