An article in the New York Times of January 18th, building on research done by Ray Chetty on equality of opportunity, shows that students at elite colleges are even richer than experts had realized. 38 colleges in the US have more students from the top 1% of the income scale than from the bottom 60%.
These findings come from a cross-analysis of national tax income and tuition data. About four in 10 students from the top 0.1 per cent attend an Ivy League or elite university, roughly equivalent to the share of students from poor families who attend any two- or four-year college. In contrast, less than one-half of 1 per cent of children from the bottom fifth of American families attend an elite college; less than half attend any college at all. At elite colleges, the share of students from the bottom 40 per cent has remained mostly flat for a decade. Access to top colleges has not changed much, at least when measured in quintiles. (The poor have gotten poorer over that time, and the very rich have gotten richer.)