By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Every year there are college applicants scoring in the top 10% with incomes in the bottom quarter and 82% do not apply to any “good fit colleges,” according to researcher Caroline M. Hoxby.

Hoxby found that “undermatching,” enrolling in colleges less selective than they were qualified to attend, happened at the application stage. Students don’t take advantage of application-fee waivers, apply to too few colleges, don’t understand how financial aid lowers fees they pay and rely on word-of-mouth rather than other sources in selecting where to apply.

Most attend smaller high schools in smaller districts with fewer students rather than specialized schools with similarly high achieving students.

Colleges must find more ‘missing students’, plan more face-to-face contact and recommend the College Boards’ Big Future web site and the federal Education Department’s College Navigator to help, rather than the mailed brochures families see as self-serving.

Learn more in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Watch & Listen LIVE