Colleges urged to use socioeconomic #affirmativeaction

(USA Today) Colleges and universities should adopt affirmative-action policies based on socioeconomic status, argues a new report that finds the most disadvantaged students on average score 784 points lower on the SAT than those from the wealthiest, most educated families.

Despite recent efforts by about 100 selective colleges to provide more need-based aid and improve graduation rates of recipients, low-income and minority students are increasingly concentrated in the least selective schools, the report says.

“It doesn’t do any good to offer a generous financial aid package to low-income students if you don’t also admit them,” says Richard Kahlenberg, a longtime advocate of class-based preferences in admissions, and editor of Rewarding Strivers: Helping Low-Income Students Succeed in College, published today by the Century Foundation.

A 2003 Supreme Court ruling allows colleges to consider race in admissions, but the SAT research finds that socioeconomic factors, such as parents’ education and income, contribute significantly to differences in student scores.

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