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Bruni is wrong when he states ED hurts low income students. It gives them the best shot at the generous need based aid offered at the top privates and LAC. The middle class "donut" kids who can't afford to be full pay and have to shop for merit are the ones hurt the most, but generally the media and eduction establishment doesn't care about these students.
The biggest problem by far: It significantly disadvantages students from low-income and middle-income families, who are already underrepresented at such schools. There’s plenty of evidence that applying early improves odds of admission and that the students who do so — largely to gain a competitive edge — come disproportionately from privileged backgrounds with parents and counselors who know how to game the system and can assemble the necessary test scores and references by the November deadline.