Aug 7, 2023 - News

Report: Ultra-wealthy students nearly three times as likely to get into Georgetown

A shot of Healy Hall's Gothic architecture.

Healy Hall. Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

Children from ultra-wealthy families are 2.9 times more likely to be accepted into Georgetown University compared to others with comparable test scores.

  • That's according to a new paper from a group of Harvard economists who study inequality.

Why it matters: Even as the U.S. Supreme Court just eliminated racial preference in college admissions, the data show another kind of bias — that is, toward the wealthiest applicants, who are disproportionately white, Axios' Emily Peck writes.

What's happening: The high-income admissions advantage is driven by three factors, the paper says:

  1. Preferences for children of alumni.
  2. Weight placed on non-academic ratings, which tend to be higher for students applying from private high schools.
  3. Recruitment of athletes.

What they're saying: "These policies amounted to affirmative action for the children of the 1 percent, whose parents earn more than $611,000 a year," per the New York Times report on the paper.

Zoom in: The report found that children from wealthier families are more likely to apply to Georgetown University, up to 2.4 times more likely for 1% families — a higher rate than any other school examined in the study.

  • They included the eight Ivies plus Stanford, Duke, M.I.T., and the University of Chicago, in addition to 12 selective private colleges including Georgetown.

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