article in NYT mag

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/10/magazine/college-admissions-paul-tough.html

There is a tiny minority of American colleges where tuition revenue doesnít matter much to the institutionís financial health. Harvard and Princeton and Stanford have such enormous endowments and such dependable alumni donors that they are able to spend lavishly to spend lavishly to educate their students, with only a small percentage of those funds coming from the students themselves. But most private colleges, including Trinity, operate on a model that depends heavily on tuition for their financial survival. And for many colleges, that survival no longer seems at all certain: According to Moodyís Investors Service, about a quarter of private American colleges are now operating at a deficit, spending more than they are taking in.

Hence, the top schools are easy to get in with scores. After the top tier, money counts more.