Being Rich is Getting Better

Kids Count

Some colleges are looking for students whose families are at or above a $150,000 annual income. This is truly a departure from the days when only needy students, super smart students or super athletic students received rich scholarships or merit awards. Colleges and universities are also aware that image matters. There is a litany of organizations that evaluate colleges for their selectiveness, affordability and GPA scores or SAT scores. These scores appeal to students and parents alike.

One of the best ways to create and maintain an attractive profile in the U.S. News College Report is to lure students with the highest GPA and SAT scores to their school and thereby maintaining their elite status. Frequently these high scoring students come from affluent families with plenty of resources. These desirable students are frequently offered scholarships and tuition discounts.

Many private colleges are offering affluent students generous discounts so that they too can compete for elite students in effort to improve their national ranking and profile. Ivy League schools like Columbia, Harvard and Princeton remain the preference of many wealthy students and the lack of financial discounts has not diminished enrollments at any of the Ivy League schools.

Only 5 percent of students at Ivy League schools qualify for Pell grants which support needy students. In contrast, 38 percent of students at the University of California at Los Angeles, a state school, receive Pell grants. As a parent, if your son or daughter has great SAT scores and an outstanding GPA many top tier colleges will be interested and will afford them a tuition discount or a scholarship. Ivy League schools have more than enough high scoring students apply every year to be able to cherry pick from a field of top students without regard to incentivizing admission.

Many Ivy League schools also preserve a good number of spots for legacy admissions where mom or dad may have attended the school previously. As the American middle class continues to shrink, recent trends in increasing college scholarships and tuition discounts for the wealthy seem to support further shrinking of the middle class.

On the surface it appears that this may be yet another piece of the American horizon looks less expectant and less hopeful for many Americans.

Remember, all kids count.

Reach the writer at hurlburt@wildblue.net

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