Every year, tens of thousands of disadvantaged students start high school with high eighth-grade test scores. These students seem like prime candidates to attend a selective college, get a four-year degree, and do better than their parents later in life.
Yet by the end of high school, they’ve slipped far behind their wealthier classmates. Many never end up going to college at all, and just 16 percent end up at highly selective colleges.
A new study of those students lets us see exactly what happens to them along the way.