Survey: College admissions favor the wealthy
Colleges are admitting increasing numbers of less-qualified students who can pay their own way.
Financial aid, at its best, allows disadvantaged students access to educational opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable due to prohibitively high costs. But a survey suggests colleges increasingly steer clear of these needier students, instead giving preference to those who would be able to pay tuition without financial aid.
The disturbing news comes from a survey of 462 college admissions officers conducted by the online publication Inside Higher Ed. More than a third of admissions officers surveyed reported that their institution had increased its focus on recruiting "full-pay" students, or those who won't require financial aid. Post continues after video.
And the admissions strategy judged most important by admissions officers -- especially those at public schools -- was to recruit more out-of-state students who pay higher fees than locals at public institutions.
That's not to say universities are getting greedy; rather that they're facing tough economic decisions like most people and organizations struggling to survive in a slow economy, and are having to change the way they do business to keep afloat. (Are you saving enough for college? Try MSN Money's calculator.)
"The interest in full-pay students is so strong that 10% of four-year colleges report that the full-pay students they are admitting have lower grades and test scores than do other admitted applicants," Inside Higher Ed reports. And a quarter of admissions officers said they'd felt pressure from a trustee or higher-ranking administrator to admit certain applicants.
Rich vs. poor
Previous surveys conducted by the publication found that universities are increasing their aid budgets in response to trying financial times, and many have increased their discount rate -- that is, how much financial aid is granted to those who need it. But the schools also say this discount-rate increase is unsustainable given the institutions' finances. The solution preferred by the colleges, it seems, is to admit fewer students who actually need financial aid and thereby stay within a tighter budget.
The result is that colleges admit increasing numbers of less-qualified students who can pay their own way and turn away qualified applicants who can't.
It's a state of affairs poised to hurt those most in need of a college education. Studies have shown that education remains the single biggest factor in determining a worker's ultimate earning potential, and that children raised in middle-class families -- unlikely to be able to afford the sky-high-and-rising tuition at many schools -- are much more likely to drop out of the middle class if they don't go to college.
Obviously colleges, particularly public ones, are feeling the economic pinch like everyone else. But if their solution is to get in the habit of turning away poor kids while recruiting the lucky few who can afford college, the already huge gap between rich and poor will only become larger in the long run.
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Having paid for two kids I can say no kidding my kids did well very proud but classmates not so good did not have financial aid but parent loans they are both doing great one with MBA the other Teaching very proud but it did put a sting in the pocket!!!!!!
Of course, college is a big business not more no less, they are after MONEY...thats it.
They always have been, people do not realize that this are just profit center and the market
programs, MBA's and more just to make MONEY....
To: southern home builder
I suppose the argument could be made and it is the classic libertarian viewpoint that says something along the line that my personal gain is mine alone and it should not be taken away from me to pay for things that I don't agree with. i.e. taking my money is akin to forcing me to be your slave. A perfectly valid worldview but doesn't take into account the thought that your success hinges on the larger society around you.
I assume from your login that your in construction and so am I. I build commercial buildings working for a large electrical contractor in the NE. If you or I had been born into a country like Mexico and pursued the same career path we would be poor and live in shack house. Not because we worked less hard or were inherently less intelligent but because we were placed in a society without all of the blessings of the USA.
Now some of these 'blessings' are a result of us as a people collectively giving up some of our labor in the form of taxes to create the infrastructure possible to make us one of the most productive people on earth. This of course includes things like roads and brides, power lines and generating stations etc... But is also includes education of our citizens.
So I believe that to the extent (and a limited extent at that) that the government fosters an educated citizen by taxation if necessary, then we all make more money in the end. I was in Juarez last year and our mission group hired this very talented mason and paid him $125 per week (way above what he was making) to work with us. He was thrilled to have the work, but at night like all the other masons he went home to live in a shack in the Colonia.
Cross the border into El Paso and the same mason lives in a middle class home, owns a automobile and sends his kids to college partly on our dime. Money well spent in my book.
A different perspective for you: The United States was successful in the 20th century AFTER WWII. And the difference? Prior to that event, there were no economic advantages for 'US'. Afterward, we were the ONLY country in the industrialized world that hadn't been bombed to shreds. Much as it might hurt peoples feelings, what made us special was we still had factories and electricity, etc., when no one else did. As other countries rebuilt, our 'specialness' disappeared. We weren't better. We just had oceans to protect us.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. But it is a personal chioce. I can't waste yours, you can't waste mine. But you can definitly waste $100,000 of our tax dollars.
The problem with colleges is the the costs have increased way more than the rate of inflation or wage growth. Something like 14% a year in the NYS SUNY system. I graduated in the late 80's the cost was 1,350 per year for Tuition and now it's $6,730. Wages however have only about doubled in the same time frame. My question is why. The professors are making about double, the janitors wages only doubled etc.... where is all this extra money going?
Why should the government use my money to pay for a person to go to college when that person either isn't smart enough, or doesn't work hard enough, to get a scholarship?
As to the comment above the answer is that it is in the best interest of the United States of America to have a highly educated population. The GI bill was probably some of the best money our country ever spent. The SUNY system has educated and made it possible for tens of millions of middle class people to attend colleges that they otherwise would not have been able to do.
This line of thinking taken far enough would also eliminate funding for public schools. That by the way is the norm in some countries like Mexico where a child has to pay tuition to attend grade school or simply stay home.
I read once that one of the reasons the USA was so successful in the 20th century is that we were one of the first countries to institute free and public education. Public Universities are a extension of this concept.
So to the extent that we pay as a society to educate our young people we win. Is is after all these same young that will carry us when we age. We need them to succeed to keep the USA afloat for the next generation and beyond.
One other thing. We are assuming that if someone only completes say 2 years of school instead of 4 or drops out in his or her 3rd year that the money has been wasted. However assuming the classes they took are good they still gained 3 years of learning that they will apply in life.
Shel Rama - no disrespect but after some quick number crunching...the avg cost of tuition went up at least 150x, the avg cost of a house (phoenix) 28x while the minimum wage comparision to your $1/hour only went up maby 6-7x.
So it is more than relativity at play today. Plus in the long run, your house and any investments appreciated pretty nicely I'm sure. Not true in the recent past, present or foreseeable future.
fyprns - got back to that office, get those applications send them in, then report that "****" to thier boss! Don't let that idiot hold you back.
Apply, get accepted, evaluate the financial packages then decide what to do.
After I returned from the Korean War, I enrolled at Arizona State University. I was married, age 20 (I went to Korea at age 17), so I lived at home. The first semester, every student had to pay $29.75 as "tuition" (it was called registration fees, as there was no tuition to an Arizona resident). This gradually increased until my last semester I paid $133.75. So my entire 4 years at Arizona State, now the largest university in the United States with over 71,000 students, cost me less than $800 including books. I had to drive from my home in East Phoenix (about 5 miles from the campus), but gasoline was only .16 cents a gallon. I am now 76 years old and I subsequently earned 2 masters degrees in business in California (Professional Accountancy at Cal State - Northridge and Taxation at Golden Gate University in SF). I received $110 per month while I was at ASU. I later earned another BA and an AA, both in Christian Religion. I had to pay my "tuition" and books out of the paltry stipend I received from the VA. Don't get me wrong, that $110 per month helped us a lot. We had a child each year I was at ASU and I usually held 2 part-time jobs to help pay the bills. I also bought my first home when I was a sophomore. I paid $7500 for a 2 BR, all brick home, with a block wall all around it, air conditioning, but no pool. My house payment was $78 per month. All things are relative. One could do the same thing today, just bigger numbers, but you earn more. I was paid $1 per hour on my part-time jobs.
I went to my transfer office in a local NY community college and after waiting fifteen minutes for the gentleman to walk around and get all the applications for the schools i wanted to attend. After returning to his desk i had expressed my concerns over the cost of the tolls to go to one school at $13.00 a day would be costly. He then proceeded to place all of the applications in his desk draw and close it. He said and i quote"If you cant afford the tolls you cant afford any of these schools, I cant help you goodbye". That was the end of my humiliating experience. I was not even offered the oppurtunity to apply for scholarships i did qualify for with a GPA of 3.8.
@cyn in PA
I have to ask where you got such a bizarre idea. Truth: it used to be that college was ONLY for those that could afford it. That changed with the GI Bill after WWII. So it's actually only been the last 60-65 years that anyone other than the wealthy got in. Now, any warm body can find a 'college' that will admit them and then get paid for it with pell grants, student loans, etc., that are our tax money. And less than half of these 'students' ever graduate. But they leave us having to foot the bill. Next truth: Those who work hard and make good grades, yeah, it's called scholarships. And they are available. One of my niece's graduated with a Bachelors of Science (nursing) from a major university two years ago. She got enough in scholarship money that she finished with no debt, and used NO taxpayer money. Why should the government use my money to pay for a person to go to college when that person either isn't smart enough, or doesn't work hard enough, to get a scholarship?
To be honest I am somewhat conflicted on this subject. On one hand, why shouldn't the people who can afford to pay for the prodcut/service be allowed to to so. On the other hand, I do think more medicore students are entering college. However, if you think that only applies to those that can pay, you are in denial. There are plenty of students getting aid that have no business in college as well.
A recent article in a local paper (Rochester, NY) stated that 2000 students who attended 5 local colleges received a total of $93 million dollars in state aid, only to drop out after the first year. I see that as a complete waste of money, a very bad investment. I am sure this aid was granted based on need, not probability of success/completion.
It would seem to make more sense to base aid on the students likelihood of being successful and less on their parent's ability to pay. This would ensure that the best students get to attend and the lowest cost. But the system doesn't work that way.
The class warfare is also a by-product of lower performing, higher need students, get dispropotionately more aid, than high performing, perhaps less needy (middle class) students. More focus should be placed on performance and less on need. That is if you are looking to maximize the return on investment.
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