Delaware Seeks to Steer the Poor to Top Colleges

Delaware announced on Wednesday a new effort to encourage high-achieving low-income students to apply to top colleges, saying it would send application fee waivers and other information to every such high school senior in the state.

The program — a collaboration between Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, and the College Board, which administers the SAT — is a response to recent research showing that most poor students with high grades do not apply to any top colleges. Instead, many attend colleges with fewer resources and fail to graduate, at a time when the wage gap between college graduates and everyone else is near a record high.

The pattern contributes to income inequality and holds down social mobility, economists say.

In a separate move Wednesday, also in response to the recent research, Wellesley College unveiled a calculator designed to show poor and middle-class students that they would pay only a small fraction of the published tuition if they attended the college. Similar calculators already exist, but Wellesley’s may be the simplest, requiring many fewer steps. <Read more.>

Via David Leonhardt, The New York Times.