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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price, Second Edition by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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23. Why Being Rich Helps

It sounds immoral to replace really talented low-income kids with less talented richer kids, but unless you’re a Williams or an Amherst, the alternative is the quality of the education declines for everyone.

—Morton Owen Schapiro, president of Williams College

Back in 2009, Reed College, a prestigious liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon, was grappling with a sticky issue that ultimately landed it on the front page of The New York Times.

Reed College, like some other elite colleges and universities, admirably aimed to accept students strictly on merit. Reed’s admission officers reviewed the applications of teenagers without taking into consideration whether they could afford the expensive school.

The college’s goal ...

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