Which top colleges are most welcoming to low-income students? The Upshot used the percentage of students receiving Pell grants along with net price of attendance for low- and middle-income families to find the most economically diverse top colleges.
Most Economically Diverse
St. Mary’s (Ind.)
The biggest theme to emerge from our analysis is that otherwise similar colleges often have very different levels of commitment to economic diversity….
Similarly, by looking at schools on the list like Barnard and U.N.C.-Chapel Hill, it’s clear that otherwise dissimilar colleges show similar economic diversity.
How many low-income students actually graduate?
An additional data point that would be informative is the graduation rates for Pell grant recipients at these schools. That’s a significant measure of how well a college serves its low-income students.
Low-income families can look at these lists and search out other information to help them understand how welcoming a particular college would be for their child. Schools that partner with the Posse Foundation, a support program for that enjoys a 90% graduation rate for its participants, should be considered.