Emily Bazelon at Slate wonders why the percentages of Pell Grant recipients (students from low-income families) are declining at the top/richest universities, even as they adopt programs like Harvard’s new free tuition gambit.
Breakthrough has known for a long time that part of the answer is that money to pay for college is only a small part of the problem. The bulk of the kids that would qualify for the generous Harvard program are not academically prepared for admission. Bright kids that aren’t challenged in middle school aren’t taking advanced classes in high school, and they aren’t getting into Harvard. We can’t ask schools like that to lower their admissions standards, so we’re helping bridge the gap. Breakthrough kids are the kids that belong in Harvard but aren’t given a fair shot. And money has very little to do with it.