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. (Read more Ivy League stories.)