It’s easy to applaud the generosity the Ivy League is lavishing on the middle class, but it could have unintended consequences, Newsweek notes. Second-tier schools and elite public universities rely on the highly talented middle-class kids Harvard and company are targeting. “Schools compete hard for those students,” said Colgate’s VP of finances. But Colgate’s $700 million can’t compete with Harvard’s $34 billion war chest.
To protect their elite status, schools like Colgate will probably “sweeten the package” for top middle-class kids, one economist predicts, “taking money away from the students who really need it: low-income students.” But optimists say big universities have taken the cream of the crop for years. “The number of kids we’re talking about is very small,” said one admissions dean.