LOS ANGELES – Students from wealthy families are overrepresented in the US highly selective private colleges, a new study has found.
The study, published Monday by Opportunity Insights, a group of researchers and policy analysts at Harvard University, shows that students with parents in the top 1 percent income level are more than twice as likely to attend an elite private university than those from middle-class families with comparable SAT and ACT scores.
The study looked at 12 colleges from the “Ivy League Plus” group, including the eight Ivy League schools, and Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, and the University of Chicago.
The researchers analyzed anonymous admissions data linked to income tax records from 1999 to 2015 and SAT and ACT test scores from 2001 to 2015. They defined the top 1 percent as having an annual income of over 611,000 US dollars.
In contrast, children from high-income families have no admissions advantage at flagship public colleges, the study found.
According to the study, high-income admissions advantage at private colleges is mainly driven by three factors.
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