The Chronicle of Higher Education has charted the number and percentage of students receiving Pell Grants -- a federal grant program to help low income students afford college -- at the fifty wealthiest universities in the United States. The data are from the 2008-2009 academic year. With over 30% of its students receiving Pell Grants, The University of California-Los Angeles has the most low-income students of any of America's top universities. With less than six percent of the student body on Pell Grants, Washington University in St. Louis has the smallest percentage of low-income students. Since Pell Grants go to roughly the lowest 50% of income earning families, poorer students are significantly underrepresented at all of the nation's elite universities.
Harvard, who finished poorly in the study with the second lowest percentage of Pell Grant recipients, has disputed the methodology as an appropriate measure of economic diversity.