A New York Times story Sunday examines a disturbing study that came out in December that suggests that high achieving low income students don’t even bother with the best schools. From an abstract about the study:
We show that the vast majority of very high-achieving students who are low-income do not apply to any selective college or university. This is despite the fact that selective institutions would often cost them less, owing to generous financial aid, than the resource-poor two-year and non-selective four-year institutions to which they actually apply. Moreover, high-achieving, low-income students who do apply to selective institutions are admitted and graduate at high rates.
…. We demonstrate that widely-used policies–college admissions staff recruiting, college campus visits, college access programs–are likely to be ineffective …
The researchers, Caroline Hoxby of Stanford and Christophy Avery of Harvard question whether elite schools are looking hard enough for top-shelf students from low income backgrounds. Inside Higher Ed writes:
Why aren’t these students applying? The authors write that — from their data on the students’ high schools — most of these students are unlikely to have met a teacher, counselor or older student who ever attended a selective college.