Friday, January 27, 2017

The meaning of "elite" in Elite Universities

"Harvard’s most recent fund-raising campaign passed the $7bn mark, partially by focusing on expanding financial aid. Parents with incomes under $65,000 are not expected to pay a cent. But the data show that, from 1999 to 2013, poor students’ access to the university has stayed stubbornly low (more than half of Harvard students came from the richest 10% of households).  Just 2% of Princetonians came from households at the bottom 20% of the income distribution, compared with 3.2% from the top 0.1% (corresponding to an annual income of more than $2.3m). Put another way, students from this zenith of the income scale are 315 times likelier to attend Princeton than those from the bottom 20%. Only Colby College, a small liberal-arts college in Maine, has a worse ratio.  But legacy admissions, which give preferential treatment to family members of alumni, exacerbate the imbalance. Of Harvard’s most recently admitted class, 27% of students had a relative who also attended."