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How Colleges Are Selling Out the Poor to Court the Rich (Atlantic)

tokenadulttokenadult Super Moderator1 replies1 discussions Junior Member
An article from The Atlantic

How Colleges Are Selling Out the Poor to Court the Rich - Jordan Weissmann - The Atlantic

reports on a study by the New America Foundation, "Undermining Pell: How Colleges Compete for Wealthy Students and Leave the Low-Income Behind."

http://newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/Merit_Aid%20Final.pdf

Colleges talk a good game about giving a leg up to able students whose means from the previous generation don't match the high list price of college, but most college financial aid appears to be designed to boost college revenues

Optimize Net Revenue » Maguire Associates

rather than help the neediest, most academically prepared students.
edited May 2013 in Parents Forum
112 replies
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Replies to: How Colleges Are Selling Out the Poor to Court the Rich (Atlantic)

  • barronsbarrons 43 replies5 discussions Junior Member
    The first mission of any org it to continue to exist. That requires funds. There are plenty of colleges to go around--1 or more will work for most anyone.
    edited May 2013
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 55 replies2 discussions Junior Member
    I think it's complex. Take golf - you can buy a membership and play at a private club or you can pay greens fees and play at a public course..some that are as beautiful and lush as the privates but at a considerably lesser cost. Now it seems that all colleges public and private are viewed as a level playing field with an attitude that everyone should be able to attend either. Now some will say that is a snoidy attitude, but really the government should be subsidizing public education at the state publics and funding it at a level that the truly needy can attend for nothing if qualified and private education should not be the receivers of federal funding. If private colleges want to have as their mission to meet need or discount tuition for those with no need - well then I say bully for them.
    edited May 2013
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  • minimini 105 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    I'm with you. And I'd start by adequately funding the community college systems. Let the privates do what they want...with their own money. (There used to be a time when they did that.)
    edited May 2013
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  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 152 replies2 discussions Junior Member
    "There's nothing inherently wrong with handing out tuition breaks to the middle class, or even the rich. The problem is that it seems to be happening at the expense of the poor. At 89 percent of the 479 private colleges Burd examined, students from families earning less than $30,000 a year were charged an average "net price" of more than $10,000 annually -- "net price" being the full annual cost of attendance minus all institutional and government aid. Less technically, it's what students can actually expect to pay. At 60 percent of private colleges, that net price was more than $15,000."

    $10,000 annually - $2,500 in Federal Tax Credits - $3,000 part-time summer and/or semester jobs doesn't sound all that bad. The average debt of graduates with debt is around $27,000 which seems to fit.

    > The first mission of any org it to continue to exist.
    > That requires funds. There are plenty of colleges
    > to go around--1 or more will work for most anyone.

    One could go the community college route too for two years to reduce expenses. But you're right, you can't serve anyone if you have to close up shop.
    edited May 2013
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  • skrlvrskrlvr 20 replies0 discussions New Member
    the government should be subsidizing public education at the state publics and funding it at a level that the truly needy can attend for nothing if qualified and private education should not be the receivers of federal funding.


    Though aren't some arguing at the K-12 level the complete opposite--for the creation of a voucher system to ennable school choice?
    edited May 2013
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  • hornethornet 1 replies0 discussions New Member
    Community colleges are an excellent way for a student to cut expenses. At my community college, we have seen a 25% increase in university transfer students in the past five years. Many more middle class students who academically could have entered the university system straight from high school are enrolling. Tuition and books run roughly 3K a semester. Our students transfer with ease and the average GPA for CC transfers at the end of the junior year (at the university) is slightly higher than that of the students that began at the state universities.

    I do wish we had better funding so that our labs and classrooms could be better equipped. For the really poor students, it would be good if we could help them with books and group health insurance through the school.
    edited May 2013
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 60 replies3 discussions Junior Member
    The "high tuition, high aid" model is a disaster. Reminds me of Margaret Thacher's saying about how the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples' money. No big surprise that higher income families are voting with their feet...
    edited May 2013
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 34 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    At 89 percent of the 479 private colleges Burd examined, students from families earning less than $30,000 a year were charged an average "net price" of more than $10,000 annually -- "net price" being the full annual cost of attendance minus all institutional and government aid. Less technically, it's what students can actually expect to pay. At 60 percent of private colleges, that net price was more than $15,000."

    So what? Why does Burd think that private colleges have an obligation to provide a service that is 100% free to low income kids? (If they lived at home, they'd still eat food and use health services.) Does Amtrak give such students a free pass to get to college? Does the airline? Does REI provide free winter clothes to the poor so they can attend a private college?
    And I'd start by adequately funding the community college systems.

    Concur.
    edited May 2013
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  • minimini 105 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    At my alma mater, they claim that they spend $95k per student per year, but the top COA is only $60k. What this means is that not only my measly alumni contributions (on the rare occasions when they get them) but government subsidies in the form of Pell grants and subsidized loans are actually subsidizing millionaires' kids to the tune of $35k a year.

    So what else is new?
    edited May 2013
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 60 replies3 discussions Junior Member
    @mini, I seriously doubt millionaires fill out FA forms; therefore, their will not be getting Pell grants and federally subsidized loans.
    edited May 2013
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 55 replies2 discussions Junior Member
    It's even more than high tuition, high aid model....it's a leveling of systems and saying that public and private are virtually equal. There are many states, like Michigan, that barely subsidize public education - including no merit money for college students for quite a few years - pushing costs even higher and close to COA at most of Michigan's private colleges. Tuition at Michigan is also on a sliding scare so by the time you are an in-state senior the COA is now over $30,000 if someone chose to stay in housing. It's a broken system and unfortunately I think outside the media and the minority of the population that are actually paying for all of this it's just not a national issue. Even the loans are set up not to be discharged. Right now there are probably not many people in a position to change anything that actually are interested in changing anything.
    edited May 2013
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  • minimini 105 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    "@mini, I seriously doubt millionaires fill out FA forms; therefore, their will not be getting Pell grants and federally subsidized loans."

    That's just the point! They don't fill out ANY FA forms, they don't get ANY Pell grants, or federally subsidized loans, and because all those poor kids' families do all that work, the rich kids get subsidies of $140k over four years without doing a darn thing! Good racket!
    edited May 2013
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  • barronsbarrons 43 replies5 discussions Junior Member
    Maybe Williams just wastes lots of money. As they say at H--we take the best and try not to screw them up too much.
    edited May 2013
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  • kayfkayf 44 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    Mini -- you say --

    At my alma mater, they claim that they spend $95k per student per year, but the top COA is only $60k. What this means is that not only my measly alumni contributions (on the rare occasions when they get them) but government subsidies in the form of Pell grants and subsidized loans are actually subsidizing millionaires' kids to the tune of $35k a year

    -- How can you think that Pell Grants subsidize anyone other than recipients? The institution might be subsidizing (although I question how the school comes up with the COA --)
    edited May 2013
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 60 replies3 discussions Junior Member
    They don't fill out ANY FA forms, they don't get ANY Pell grants, or federally subsidized loans, and because all those poor kids' families do all that work, the rich kids get subsidizes of $140k over four years without doing a darn thing! Good racket!

    The kids are being courted on the basis of their academic merit. That's why it's called MERIT aid. The same way athletic high-achiever get courted for their athletic prowess and get offered athletic scholarships w/o having to fill out any FA forms.

    If a college doesn't have the reputational cache to get high-achiever upper-income kids to matriculate at list price, then why shouldn't the schools compete to get them with incentives.

    Poor high-achiever kids could also get MERIT without filling out any FA forms, but it would not make strategic sense to pass up a sure outcome of getting FA.
    edited May 2013
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