The Access Problem

More

1977281516_4c84b3522c.jpg

Many elite institutions of higher education are taking action to make their financial aid policies for students from low-income families more generous. That's nice to see, but as Kevin Carey argues it's also a bit besides the point: "The problem with this narrative is the implication that the socioeconomic makeup of a given college is primarily a function of who chooses to apply to go there. It's not. It's a function of who the college chooses to let in."

A combination of the fact that low-income kids tend to be poorly served by the country's primary and secondary school systems, plus the fact that college admissions procedures give a lot of advantages to people from privileged backgrounds, makes it very difficult for the poor to get accepted into selective schools. Consequently, the schools can afford to be generous to low income students in part because there are so few eligible people being admitted.

Photo by Flickr user Jos Shlabotnik used under a Creative Commons license

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In