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Middle Class on Campus

A Georgetown University study of the class of 2010 at the country's 193 most selective colleges. As entering freshmen,

Only 15 percent of students came from the bottom half of the income distribution.
Sixty-seven percent came from the highest-earning fourth of the distribution.

These statistics mean that on many campuses affluent students outnumber middle-class students.

"We claim to be part of the American dream and of a system based on merit and opportunity and talent," Mr. Marx says. "Yet if at the top places, two-thirds of the students come from the top quartile and only 5 percent come from the bottom quartile, then we are actually part of the problem of the growing economic divide rather than part of the solution."

-- Anthony Marx, a 44-year-old political scientist, and outgoing president of Amherst College, in western Massachusetts,

Top Colleges, Largely for the Elite
Published: May 24, 2011
The admissions policies of elite colleges don't matter just to high school seniors; they're a matter of national interest.


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