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New Ranking Highlights 'Top' Colleges That Draw Economically Diverse Students

The New York Times is spotlighting top colleges that enroll the most economically disadvantaged students with a new index released on the same day as the unveiling of the annual U.S. News and World Report college rankings.

The newspaper's blog, the Upshot, analyzed data for every college with a four-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent. It reviewed enrollment and tuition costs to measure how hard each college is trying to attract and graduate poor and middle-class students.

The new "college access index" draws attention to institutions that "have changed policies and made compromises to recruit talented students from low-income families" who have excelled in high school,  according to a Sept. 9 item Upshot.

For more analysis, see Mark Walsh's post over at the Media and Education blog.

The Times' top five "most economically diverse top colleges" are:
1. Vassar College

2. Grinnell College

3. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

4. Smith College

5. Amherst College

At all five of these institutions, 20 percent or more of students receive federal Pell Grants, which are given to students from low-income families.

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