Despite Promises, Little Progress in Drawing Poor to Elite Colleges - NYTimes.com: As the shaded quadrangles of the nation’s elite campuses stir to life for the start of the academic year, they remain bastions of privilege. Despite promises to admit more poor students, top colleges educate roughly the same percentage of them as they did a generation ago. Yet the percentage of high-performing, low-income students in the general population is twice that at prestigious campuses.
A series of federal surveys of selective colleges found virtually no change from the 1990s to 2012 in enrollment of students who are less well off despite a huge increase over that time in the number of such students going to college. Similar studies looking at a narrower range of top wealthy universities back those findings. With race-based affirmative action losing both judicial and public support, many have urged selective colleges to shift more focus to economic diversity.