To understand this story, you have to keep in mind the distinction between a large research–oriented university (where professors teach about 2 courses a semester and spend a lot of their time conducting their own research and supervising graduate students) and a small liberal arts college (where professors teach about 4 courses per semester, spend much less time on their own research, and they may have no graduate students in their program at all). As I understand it, the study determined that faculty at large universities were far more likely than professionals earning similar incomes to send their students to small liberal arts schools (where the focus is on undergraduate education).
The children of professors are far more likely to attend liberal arts colleges than other parents. Children of university faculty are about twice as likely to select liberal arts college than children of parents earning more than $100,000 a year.
Why are college professors steering their children to liberal arts colleges, which educate roughly 3% of the nation’s college students?
These insiders understand that liberal arts college focus exclusively on educating undergraduates and offer a boutique education with small classes and personal attention from professors.
In contrast, the main focus for professors at private and public research universities is conducting their own research and training graduate students. Educating undergrads is a lower priority. In fact, at universities graduates students often teach many undergraduate classes.