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They're competing for the same financial aid, which is based on need. Admissions aren't tied to need, but aid is. Therefore, if you ignore the structural forces making it difficult for poor people in general, they get a big bonus:

(1) Ability to pay is ignored during admissions...

(2) ... but ability to pay totally determines what you'll be asked to pay.

For those who get admitted and are poor, it's an extraordinarily good deal. I'm still not seeing where (or if) we're disagreeing.




It's true that college admissions in the USA are extremely generous, but this is only to make up for the wild variations in the quality of primary and secondary education. Depending on your choice of parents (and where they live), you could be doing AP calculus with your own laptop, or not be able to read your high school diploma.

In many European countries, there is an aggressive policy of equalizing all education opportunity, from kindergarten to the Ph.D. level.




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