Pell Grant Recipients in the Ivy League

How many low-income students attend Ivy League colleges? The figure below shows the total number of undergraduates and Federal Pell Grant recipients (a common proxy for 'low-income' status) enrolled in Ivy League colleges and universities in academic year 2015-16. Undergraduate enrollments vary widely across institutions, ranging from 4,307 at Dartmouth to 14,315 at Cornell. Similarly, the number of Pell Grant recipients enrolled at each Ivy League institution varies, from 613 at Dartmouth to more than 2,000 at Cornell. In total, fewer than 10,000 Pell Grant recipients attended Ivy League colleges and universities in 2015-16.

Total Undergraduate and Pell Grant Recipient Enrollments at Ivy League Colleges and Universities: 2015-16

 Data retrieved from the IPEDS Data Center.

Data retrieved from the IPEDS Data Center.

The figure below translates the above enrollment counts into the share of Pell Grant recipients at each Ivy League institution. Harvard has the smallest share of Pell Grant recipients represented in its undergraduate student body (11 percent), while Columbia has the largest share (22 percent). For most Ivy League institutions, 14-15 percent of the undergraduate class is comprised of Pell Grant recipients.

Share of Undergraduates who Receive Federal Pell Grant at Ivy League Colleges and Universities: 2015-16

 Data retrieved from the IPEDS Data Center.

Data retrieved from the IPEDS Data Center.

What are the graduation outcomes for Pell Grant recipients enrolled in Ivy League colleges? The figure below shows the 6-year bachelor's degree completion rates for Federal Pell Grant recipients who began as first-time, full-time bachelor's degree-seeking students in fall 2010. Based on this cross section of available data, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) exhibits the lowest Pell graduation rate (91 percent), while Yale exhibits the highest (98 percent).

6-Year Pell Graduation Rates at Ivy League Colleges and Universities: Fall 2010 Cohort

 Author's calculations. Data retrieved from the IPEDS Data Center. *Preliminary data reported in IPEDS show zero FTFT Pell Grant recipients enrolled at Columbia in fall 2010, therefore no graduation rate could be calculated.

Author's calculations. Data retrieved from the IPEDS Data Center. *Preliminary data reported in IPEDS show zero FTFT Pell Grant recipients enrolled at Columbia in fall 2010, therefore no graduation rate could be calculated.