I should note that I hate these type of posts. Still, I'm just going to address the problem of being a middle class White/Asian kid in 2015. This can probably be most easily examined in the context of college admissions.
I'll break down the advantages and disadvantages of being in different class positions for college admissions.
Lower Class Cons: Your parents do not understand the importance of your success in high school and college. You need to be more concerned with working in high school and earning money to pay for food, clothing whatever else you need. Time that you would spend volunteering in Africa is instead spent helping your little brother and helping your parents with whatever they need. You do not have the benefit of standardized test tutors and college advisors. You are going against the grain to succeed and have a great job.
Lower Class Pros: Institutions want to help you. Scholarships are out there specifically for you and colleges want to hear you talk about the challenges you overcame. You may not have the trips to Africa, but you at least have an excuse, and since you're probably a first generation college applicant, you already have a hook. From this point, all you need to do is land those test scores and class rank, and if you're lucky you get into a top school.
Middle Class Cons: Your parents probably went to a mediocre school and know a little something about college admissions and understand that doing good in school is important. They will never help you through college admissions, but at least you don't have to worry about money all the time. There probably aren't scholarships out there for you, you probably can't afford effective standardized test tutors, and you'll probably have to work a little bit throughout high school and occasionally help your family. Institutions do not have empathy for you because your life has been okay, and they also do not necessarily want you to come to their school because you can't pay $60,000 tuition and you won't make the campus more diverse.
Middle Class Pros: The pros are simply that your life is easier than the lower class life. You have some advantages and you don't have to worry about money, but you're pretty much on your own as far as success in school goes.
Upper Class Cons: Your parents are probably not available all the time. There are high expectations in place for you because you come from money. You may have to go on a "mission trip" to Peru... big deal.
Upper Class Pros: Colleges want you because you're loaded. Your parents have probably put you in a position to succeed. The only thing you need to do is put in the work and you're set.
The point of this post is that, amid these pros and cons for different classes, I think its hardest to be in the middle. Universities are interested in the extremes (diverse backgrounds and overcoming challenges, or rich kids who can pay 60,000 while contributing to the university). Middle class kids from suburbia are not unique in any aspect, and for them, getting placed in a top university is a challenge. These kids are fill up the middle tier universities.
I would assume the situation would still be similar in grad school or any other field. Middle class kids don't receive advantages of diversity or advantages from their elite status.
Of course, everything I'm saying could be horse shit, but it at least rang true with my experience. What do you think?