A brave new world awaits the class of 2012 as they embark upon their university careers (or not) later this month. It is not just that fees are rising to up to £9,000 a year – prompting just over 50,000 fewer applicants for courses this year.
"The real crisis in American higher education is that our best colleges never see a large chunk of our smartest students.
In an important recent study, the economists Caroline Hoxby and Christopher Averyfound that very few high achievers from low-income families ever apply to top colleges, and that the missing applications from these kids largely explain why they’re underrepresented at our leading universities.
At first glance, poor students’ reluctance to aim for the Ivy League might seem to make sense. After all, there’s no way the typical low-income family can afford tuition of $50,000 a year. But in reality, they don’t have to pay anything for these schools.
If you send grades to colleges for classes that aren't on that list of classes, colleges are surprised -- and we're not talking the "I was hoping for a Civic for my birthday but got a Maserati" kind of surprised.