Making admissions fairer: Colleges systematically reject lower-income students

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“We’ve known for decades that the wealthy had an advantage in enrolling at the most selective colleges and universities in the country, given the way these institutions make admissions decisions. This includes how they define and measure merit, including through standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, and excellence in extracurricular activities, all positively correlated with income and wealth. Affirmative action for underrepresented minorities and a ‘thumb on the scale’ for lower-income and first-generation students were designed to compensate. Recent research details that these attempts to level the playing field haven’t worked. The rich still have disproportionate access to these limited seats, limiting their contributions to social and economic mobility.”


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