Top Low-Income Students Blow Off the Best Colleges
Strivers feel no connection to far-off schools
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2013 1:48 PM CDT
A university application.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The majority of high-achieving, low-income students never even apply to America's top colleges—despite financial aid that could make it affordable, according to a new study. The analysis, by two education researchers, found that just 34% of successful but low-income students went to one of America's 238 best colleges; among the wealthiest quartile of elite students, 78% attended. The reasons: Low-income students in small cities and rural areas feel no connection to the top colleges, and don't know about financial aid.

"A lot of low-income and middle-income students have the inclination to stay local," a high school guidance counselor tells the New York Times. "They didn’t have any other examples, any models—who’s ever heard of Bowdoin College?" Worse, low-income students at small local colleges tend to drop out, while those who get to top colleges usually thrive—and benefit by getting a good job after graduation. The study also shows that private and elite colleges have largely punted on their stated desire to recruit poorer students.

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
Tology
Mar 18, 2013 8:55 AM CDT
Maybe they didn't want to become the token black friend of a rich snob, so they didn't want to go to those schools.
jonnynonos77
Mar 17, 2013 7:51 PM CDT
Lucky kids now have 3.5 percent interest; we had twice that! It is a big deal... you borrow $30K at .07 and you are looking at $300 monthly payments to make any dent at all, at half the interest you can send in $250 a month and actually be paying it down substantially. We got f**ked.
paul123
Mar 17, 2013 7:21 PM CDT
I find it hard to believe that the top (smart) students are not aware of financial aid.