Forget the Kids Who Can’t Get In; What About Those Who Don’t Even Apply?
a staggering number of bright, high-achieving students growing up in poverty won't even apply to one. This phenomenon is known in education circles as "undermatching."
The College Board, which administers the SAT, reports that 96 percent of low-income minority students who score higher than 1200 on the SATs don't apply to highly selective schools. In stark contrast, about the same percentage of middle class and wealthy students with a 1200 or more do applyto selective schools.
There's a prominent perception that selective colleges aren't socioeconomically diverse because there just aren't enough qualified applicants out there. That perception is false and often reflects not just ignorance but also elitism and racism.
The truth is, high achieving students growing up in poverty don't apply to selective colleges for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with their ability, and many of those reasons stem from a lack of effective college counseling:
· They don't know the selective schools even exist
· None of their peers are applying
· They aren't encouraged to apply (and sometimes they are even discouraged from applying)
· They believe they can't get in
· They think there's no way they can afford those schools (when, actually, selective schools tend to have far better aid packages)
· They think they can't handle the work or the radically different environment.