以排名榜首的圣路易斯华盛顿大学为例，21.7% 的学生家庭年收入超过 63 万美元，只有 6.1% 的学生家庭年收入不到 6.5 万美元。该校学生家庭年收入的中位数是 27.2 万美元，84% 的学生来自家庭收入前 20% 的家庭。
圣路易斯华盛顿大学是美国最富盛名的大学之一，其赞助捐赠总金额一直排名全美国前十名，大学捐款超过 60 亿美元，是全美最富有的大学之一。二至四位分别为科罗拉多学院、华盛顿与李大学、科尔比学院和三一学院，他们都是美国顶尖的私立文理学院。
其它 Top 名校的排名如下：
所有这些世界前 50 的学校，有超过 2/3 的学校里，10% 以上是“富豪”。这毫不夸张。
上述数据均来自美国“机会均等计划”（The Equality of Opportunity Project）的调查。这项调查主要研究了大学对于代际收入流动性（intergenerational income mobility）的影响。简而言之，这个调查是为了回答“上大学到底能不能改变命运？”这一问题。而收入无疑是最好量化个人“命运”的因素。
从 1999 年到 2013 年，在追踪调查了超过三千万美国大学生的个人收入和父母收入后，调查人员发现，精英大学中的富家子弟要比他们原本想象得多出许多。粗略来讲，每四个富家子弟中就有一个读的是精英大学。而底层五分之一的美国家庭中，每 1000 人中只有 5 个人能和那些富家子弟成为同学。
从上面的表格中不难看出，家庭收入处于前 0.1% 的学生中，10 个里有 4 个就读于常春藤联盟大学或精英名校。这一数据大致等同于低收入家庭中就读于二年制和四年制大学的学生比例。换句话说，如果你出生在一个富豪家庭，只要不笨，好好读书，“藤校”就能对你敞开大门，而来自底层的孩子，同样的聪明程度，同样的努力，上个大专就不错了。
先前的研究已经证实了，美国很多收入低的学生，因为他们的原生家庭是中等甚至低等收入，无法像富裕家庭一样负担得起重点大学或者顶尖大学的高昂学费，但他们的个人能力是不逊于其他同学的。尽管这些低收入家庭孩子面临了更多的挑战，但这些学生毕业后的个人工资，和同校的富家子弟们的平均水平所差无几。一方面名校的 title 自然有加成，但另一方面，个人的能力也是重要的因素。
上面的表格指出了父母收入排名和学生个人收入排名的关系。最上面的红线反映的是12 所“常春藤+”大学的学生个人收入和父母收入的排名。在这些学校里，富裕学生的个人收入在平均收入分配的百位榜上排名第 80。而其中的低收入家庭学子的排名是第 75 名。（注：“常春藤+”大学指的是 8 所“常春藤联盟”大学，以及杜克大学、麻省理工大学、斯坦福大学和芝加哥大学。）
然而对于整个社会来说，情况依然是“穷人的孩子长大了依然穷，富人的孩子依然富”。出生于 1980 年至 1982 年间的人们现在已经 35 岁左右了。从三十大几直到退休，他们的收入都仍然保持在相似的位置上。所以至少从平均水平看来，36 岁时赚的最多的人，60 多岁退休时仍然赚的最多。
Some Colleges Have More
Students From the Top 1 Percent
Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.
Where the top 1% and the bottom 20% go to college
At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.
38 colleges had more students from the top 1 percent than the bottom 60 percent
|STUDENTS FROM …||THE TOP 1%
|1.||Washington University in St. Louis||21.7||6.1|
|3.||Washington and Lee University||19.1||8.4|
|5.||Trinity College (Conn.)||26.2||14.3|
Add your favorite colleges to the tables in this article:
Roughly one in four of the richest students attend an elite college – universities that typically cluster toward the top of annual rankings (you can find more on our definition of “elite” at the bottom).
In contrast, less than one-half of 1 percent of children from the bottom fifth of American families attend an elite college; less than half attend any college at all.
Where today’s 25-year-olds went to college, grouped by their parents’ income
About four in 10 students from the top 0.1 percent attend an Ivy League or elite university, roughly equivalent to the share of students from poor families who attend any two- or four-year college.
Colleges often promote their role in helping poorer students rise in life, and their commitments to affordability. But some elite colleges have focused more on being affordable to low-income families than on expanding access. “Free tuition only helps if you can get in,” said Danny Yagan, an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the authors of the study.
The study – by Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner and Mr. Yagan – provides the most comprehensive look at how well or how poorly colleges have built an economically diverse student body. The researchers tracked about 30 million students born between 1980 and 1991, linking anonymized tax returns to attendance records from nearly every college in the country.
We’re offering detailed information on each of more than 2,000 American colleges on separate pages. See how your college compares – by clicking any college name like Harvard, U.C.L.A., Penn State, Texas A&M or Northern Virginia Community College – or search for schools that interest you.
At elite colleges, the share of students from the bottom 40 percent has remained mostly flat for a decade. Access to top colleges has not changed much, at least when measured in quintiles. (The poor have gotten poorer over that time, and the very rich have gotten richer.)
Access to top colleges has not changed much
Previously, the most widely available data on the economic makeup of college students came from government statistics on Pell grants. Those grants typically go to students in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution. The government data categorizes students as qualifying for Pell grants or not, but does not distinguish between students who just miss the cutoff and those whose families make much more money.
The Obama administration and Congress have expanded Pell eligibility, which caused the number of Pell recipients at many colleges to rise. Some elite colleges pointed to this increase as a sign that they took economic diversity much more seriously than in the recent past.
But the new estimates show that much of the increase in Pell recipients stems from the expansion of the program. The students at elite colleges, at least as of 2013, were not actually much more economically diverse than in the past, though there are some exceptions.
Elite colleges that enroll the highest percentage of low- and middle-income students
|COLLEGE||PCT. FROM BOTTOM 40%|
|1.||University of California, Los Angeles||19.2|
|4.||New York University||14.3|
|6.||Bryn Mawr College||13.7|
|7.||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||13.5|
|8.||University of Miami (Fla.)||13.1|
These patterns are important because previous research has found that there are many highly qualified lower-income students who do not attend selective colleges – and because the low- and middle-income students who do attend top colleges fare almost as well as rich students.
Even though they face challenges that other students do not, lower-income students end up earning almost as much on average as affluent students who attend the same college.
Look at the remarkably relative flatness of the colored lines below. An affluent student who attends one of 12 “Ivy plus” universities (the Ivy League colleges, Duke, M.I.T., Stanford and the University of Chicago) ends up around the 80th percentile of the income distribution on average. A lower-income student who attends one of those colleges ends up around the 75th percentile. Lower-income students who attend less elite colleges also have outcomes similar to others from the same college.
Poor students who attend top colleges do about as well as their rich classmates
By contrast, the steeper gray line shows outcomes for the entire American population. Most students who grow up poor remain poor as adults, and most students who grow up affluent remain affluent.
The data above covers children born between 1980 and 1982, who are around 35 years old today. Most Americans remain in a similar place on the income distribution from their late 30s through the end of their careers, previous studies have found, so the highest-earning 36-year-olds are likely to become the highest-earning 60-year-olds, at least on average.
Even though most lower-income students fare well at elite colleges, there are relatively few of them there, so less elite colleges may be more important engines of social mobility. The researchers developed a new statistic they call a college’s mobility rate, which combines a college’s share of students from lower-income families with its success at propelling them into the upper part of the distribution.
Colleges with the highest mobility rate, from the bottom 40 percent to the top 40 percent
|COLLEGE||PCT. FROM BOTTOM 40%||SUCCESS RATE||‘MOBILITY’|
|1.||Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology||66.0||66.4||43.9|
|2.||City College of New York||60.5||62.9||38.1|
|3.||Texas A&M International University||60.7||62.4||37.9|
|5.||Bernard M. Baruch College||52.3||69.2||36.2|
|6.||California State University, Los Angeles||59.6||60.0||35.7|
|7.||Crimson Technical College||55.4||64.1||35.5|
|8.||University of Texas-Pan American||64.0||53.5||34.2|
|9.||New York City College of Technology||66.2||50.9||33.7|
|10.||John Jay College of Criminal Justice||54.4||61.1||33.2|
The mobility rate captures the share of all students at a given college who both came from a lower-income family and ended up in a higher-income family. The top of this list is dominated not by elite colleges, but by mid-tier public ones, including the colleges that make up the City University of New York.