right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

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

1234568»

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

  • northwestynorthwesty 5 replies0 discussions
    To the person who asked a few pages ago, Boston College in the 80s was in the vanguard of using merit aid at a private college. They did it out of desperation when they almost went bankrupt. They were so successful with that effort that BC now uses hardly any merit aid anymore. Many other privates have followed BC's high sticker/high discount model.

    The market for college is completely distorted. Only the market for health care is more screwed up. Like in health care, there's massive subsidies and redistribution of money among different types of students -- rich, poor, in-state, out-of-state, smart, dumb, recruited athletes, etc. etc. etc.

    College is expensive for the bottom 99.5% of income families. Those families are free to pick a school where their kid will be on the receiving end or the paying end of a deal.
    edited May 2013
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    I know some publics that did the same, Northwesty. Once upon a time, Pitt gave out a lot of very nice awards to those over a certain SAT score and guaranteed Honors College admissions. No more. The % of awards has dropped drastically, and you have to apply for both the awards and admissions to the Honors College with test score cut offs far higher than the automatic ones from days of yore.

    Our system actually has a good base IMO. For those families with the lowest incomes, there is PELL which are pure grants. The full PELL will cover most community college, local state school tuitions, so those kids can continue commuting to school as they were to high school. As family incomes, rise, the PELL decreases. The next layer of aid comes in the guaranteed Stafford loans which most any freshman can take in the amount of $5500 that first year, with the first $3500 subsidized if there is need. Those who do not qualify for any need, can still take out that full amount, which is similar to the PELL max, and will cover most community college, and state local tuitions.

    Where I live, there are a lot of options for those who want to go to school within those parameters. Plus our state throws in some money for those who earn under $80K a year on a graduated basis.

    But that is not the case for everyone. Where I used to live, and where I have friends living the community college choices are terrible, and there are no local state schools within an easy commutable distance. Anyone trying to navigate those horrible cc systems will be totally frustrated. When people like myself and others knowledgeable, persistent, organized and informed can't make much headway, what can one expect from 18 year olds without good adult guidance? I'd like to see these schools shored up as they really should be serving more of the population well. These schools should be fully integrated with 4 year state schools so that transfers can occur smoothly, and be well stocked with the necessary preparatory courses as well as those courses to transition to a four year school with good counselors provided and clarity. For those who want to get a certificate or terminal AA degree, that should be made possible, and for those who want to go on, a clear path be provided. This is not the case in too many cases.

    Then there is the situation of what one can do when one finishes with a two year school. Okay, so you went to community college, and now there are no local state schools within commutable distance. The state schools all cost $25K+ including room and board, and they don't meet full need. In fact, very few state schools meet full need. Right now these kids have it rough. Where the heck are they supposed to get the money to finish school?

    As far as I am concerned, those who make junior standing at the college level, can get some more aid as needed. I'd like to see increased funding for those who get there, and have no local public options.

    I feel that is a priority over and beyond benefitting those kids who are getting federal aid for sleep away schools and for privates, many of whom are also borrowing due to federal backing of school loans (no sane lender would give a dime without this backing) and getting themselves into a lot of financial trouble. I'd like to see the money strengthening and expanding the public sector when it comes to education, and yes, there are bad eggs in the bunch , bad situations, such as the PSU scandals, but I want that strengthened. For top students or those who have attributes that privates want, they can pay for them out of their own funds with merit money, If there is so little money out there in terms of SEOG, PELL, Work study, Loan subsidies, well, then not so much being lost anyways from the privates. I don't see federal money for private schools K-12. Why suddenly do we subsidize private education when the kids graduate from high school? This has fueled a lot of the "gotta go away to school", "gotta borrow to pay for a pricey sleep away option family can't afford".
    edited May 2013
    · Reply · Share
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 152 replies2 discussions Junior Member
    > But that is not the case for everyone. Where I used to live, and
    > where I have friends living the community college choices are
    > terrible, and there are no local state schools within an easy
    > commutable distance. Anyone trying to navigate those horrible cc
    > systems will be totally frustrated. When people like myself and
    > others knowledgeable, persistent, organized and informed can't make
    > much headway, what can one expect from 18 year olds without good
    > adult guidance? I'd like to see these schools shored up as they
    > really should be serving more of the population well.

    When you make community colleges good and affordable, you wind up rationing courses. Our daughter's CC is pretty good but there are some popular or required courses that are hard to get into. It is very hard to get a hold of anyone in admissions or enrollment when they open up course enrollment. Good and inexpensive services bring in a lot of students in a tough economy.

    > Then there is the situation of what one can do when one finishes
    > with a two year school. Okay, so you went to community college, and
    > now there are no local state schools within commutable distance. The
    > state schools all cost $25K+ including room and board, and they
    > don't meet full need. In fact, very few state schools meet full
    > need. Right now these kids have it rough. Where the heck are they
    > supposed to get the money to finish school?

    You get a full-time job and take courses part-time where you pay by the credit.

    > As far as I am concerned, those who make junior standing at the
    > college level, can get some more aid as needed. I'd like to see
    > increased funding for those who get there, and have no local public
    > options.

    Another option might be to allow community colleges to teach a junior year that would transfer. It would solve the geographical problem for one more year.
    edited May 2013
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    So you finish CC and you need to find a full time job near some four year college. Therein lies the problem. If you are from a low income family, the chances of being able to find a job that makes it possible to relocate within an affordable 4 year college is a problem. Around here, very possible. Remember, some of these kids are going to cc because there is NO 4 year college in the area to which they can commute. You've exhausted what your locale can provide for you. Which leads to the fact that we now have a student who has satisfactorially completed a 2 year program, has junior standing, and has no place nearby where he can get the next two years. Family can provide the 3 squares and the cot but not much more and that translates into $5-12K easily in expense. Most schools offer little money for transfers in fin aid and in scholarships. I think that loans at this point are not a bad investment for such a student. Someone who is 18 and has no track record at college, and many of these kids have less than stellar high school test scores--for them to take out huge loans strapping their parents and themselves is ludicrous. But someone who has completed his AA, and is ready to get his 4 year degree, that's a whole other story. And yes, there needs to be a lot of counseling and transfer support. One more year at a junior college is not going to help either. Just pushes the problem to the next year, and if services and quality at the CCs are made so much better, there is going to be more of a demand for them, I'm willing to bet, as you note.

    There will be a lot of growing pains to get this in place.
    edited May 2013
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    The whole idea of taking the money away from the privates is to shore up and expand the CCs so that there will be as little rationing of courses as possible. That and cancellation of courses for not enough in a section were two major problems in the areas in the midwest where I experienced the horrible Community colleges. It would take 4-5 years for students, and those are the ones who were stalwart enough to stick it out to finish programs or get an AA simply because of course rationing, and phantom courses. My friends daughters would sign up for a slate of courses only to have them all be cancelled. Or come to find that the courses are full on the registration day from those waitlisted from the semester before. A lot of the community colleges are unable to fulfil the demands and needs of their community right now. That is where I want to see the money funnelled.
    edited May 2013
    · Reply · Share
  • BobWallaceBobWallace 64 replies2 discussions New Member
    About 10% of Pell dollars are spent at non-profit privates, so they are fairly insignificant to the discussion.

    About 25% of Pell dollars go to for-profit privates.

    If you limit Pell grants to use at public schools, then most of those dollars will just be used by the same students to attend public schools. This will put additional financial burden on the public school system. It will not help public schools, and it won't help poor students.
    edited May 2013
    · Reply · Share
  • ace550ace550 5 replies0 discussions New Member
    I believe that it may make more sense to plot $ amount rather than % of student getting merit and need based scholarship in the Atlantic article. The tuition increases so much over the years. Even maintaining the % of student for need based award is amazing. The merit award is probably small compared to the need based scholarship especially at private colleges. Many schools are under pressure to compete for the top students. Merit award is the primary means for achieving that goal.
    edited May 2013
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity