From NBC News:
The leafy campuses of the country’s most selective colleges and universities have long drawn students who are intelligent – and wealthy. But the pressure is on for these elite schools to attract more high-performing students of limited means.
Many top tier institutions have hefty endowments that enable them to offer financial aid packages large enough to bring the cost of attendance in line with—or even lower than—many public universities. Despite that, a study earlier this year showed that elite public and private colleges have largely failed to attract low-income students. Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges, according to the analysis, conducted by education researchers Caroline M. Hoxby of Stanford and Christopher Avery of Harvard.