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3. The Colleges with the Best Financial Aid > Rich Schools and Poor Students

Rich Schools and Poor Students

Elite institutions, which provide little to no money to truly wealthy students, explain that they adopted this stance because they reserve their institutional money for the students who truly require assistance. This certainly sounds noble, but there can be a disconnect between official policy and what’s really going on.

The majority of these schools have not instituted admission preferences for poor teenagers, making it difficult for these students to get in. What’s commonly used to measure the number of needy students at a school is the percentage of its Pell Grant recipients. Low- and lower middle-income students qualify for this federal money.

When I checked the percentage of Pell Grant recipients at the Ivy League schools, Princeton’s percentage was the lowest (10%) while Columbia’s (16%) was the highest. Just for fun, let’s compare those statistics to two elite public institutions, the University of California, Berkeley, and UCLA, where 24% and 26% of the students are low income.


  

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