Most Poor Ignored by Best Colleges, New York Times Says

A third of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of the income scale attend the most selective U.S. colleges, compared with 78 percent for the richest kids, the New York Times reported, citing a study.

The analysis by professors Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University and Harvard University’s Christopher Avery found the top public and private colleges failed to recruit an economically diverse group of students, the newspaper said.

Hoxby and Avery analyzed Scholastic Aptitude Test results for every high school student in a recent year, and found that the top schools continue to focus their recruiting efforts in cities such as Boston, New York and Los Angeles with more talented students who are also poor, the newspaper said.

Students in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas such as Bridgeport, Connecticut; Memphis, Tennesee; and Toledo, Ohio typically don’t apply to selective colleges, the Times said. Hoxby told the newspaper those students aren’t exposed to people who are aware of the differences between colleges.

Research has shown that colleges give little or no advantage to poorer students, compared with those from affluent backgrounds of the same ethnic background, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Hart in Washington at dahart@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier at swier@bloomberg.net

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