Which Boston Colleges Have the Most Students from the 1 Percent?

(It isn't Harvard.)
Photo via iStock/gregobagel

Boston College. Photo via iStock/gregobagel

In Boston, the college-going 1 percent aren’t all where you might expect them to be.

Thirty-eight colleges in America, including five Ivy League schools, count more students from the 1 percent than from the bottom 60 percent, according to a new study by the Equality of Opportunity Project, based on anonymous tax filings and tuition data.

Tufts University had the 10th highest estimated ratio of students in the 1 percent (18.6) to students in the bottom 60 percent (11.8). The median family income of a Tufts student is $224,800, and 2 percent of students who came from poor families became wealthy later in life.

Boston College ranked 32nd of the 38 schools, with 16.1 percent of students residing in the top 1 percent. The median family income of a student enrolled at BC is $194,100, and just 1.6 percent of students who came from poor families became rich as adults.

But what about Harvard and MIT, Cambridge’s dueling bastions of elitism? Both schools were among those with the highest percentage of low- and middle-income students. Just over 13 percent of MIT students come from the bottom 40 percent, while Harvard is home to nearly 12 percent. Brandeis University and Wellesley College also scored high in this area, with 12.9 and 12.5 percent of students from the bottom 40 percent, respectively.

The study offers the clearest, most comprehensive understanding of economic diversity, mobility, and segregation at the nation’s most elite colleges and universities yet. Previous research has found that the majority of high-achieving, low-income students do not apply to selective colleges and universities, and those who do attend perform about as well as their well-heeled peers.

You can see where your school ranks here.


Kyle Scott Clauss Kyle Clauss, Digital News Writer at Boston Magazine bmagdigital+kclauss@gmail.com