California’s Upward-Mobility Machine

David Leonhardt:

Among the most notable patterns from this year’s College Access Index:

Economic diversity has stagnated. The median share of first-year students receiving Pell grants at these colleges was 17 percent last year. That was up marginally from 16 percent the previous academic year, but unchanged from 17 percent the prior two years.

This stagnation means that many elite colleges remain overwhelmingly well-off. For every student from the entire bottom half of the nation’s income distribution at Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, Yale and more than a few other colleges, there appear to be roughly two students from just the top 5 percent (which means they come from families making at least $200,000).