College Admissions Are Not Truly Merit-based and Here Is Why

College admissions are not truly merit-based and here is why

December 18, 2022

Let’s face it: the college admissions process favors students from higher-income families. Whether intentionally or not, it creates a lot of obstacles for students from less privileged backgrounds to apply to and enroll in prestigious colleges. The 2017 study analyzing the tax returns and attendance data of about 30 million students born between 1980 and 1991 found that some “elite” institutions enrolled more students from the top 1% of families than from the entire bottom 60%.

Although a degree from selective colleges might be one of the few ways to achieve upward social mobility, even highly-qualified low-income students struggle to take advantage of this opportunity. Legacy admissions and high cost of attendance are the more obvious reasons behind the discouraging statistics. What most Masters students do not realize is that the whole application process can look and feel different to low-income students.

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About the Contributors
Sonali Rao

Sonali Rao is a student in the Tower co-curricular and is a new ninth grader from Tarrytown.

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