College Presidents Promise To Help The Poorest, But They’ve Done The Opposite
For all the talk about requiring that all students be “college and career ready”, we need to be talking much more about colleges being ready for all students.
“Even at the 36 taxpayer-supported public universities that signed the White House pledge, poor students paid an average net price of about $8,000 in 2008-09 and almost $10,000 in 2012-13. That’s a 25 percent increase. During the same period, wealthier students at those schools saw their average net price go from about $18,000 to $21,000, a 16 percent increase. The figures have been adjusted for inflation.
Universities “are giving lots of merit aid to kids who don’t need it,” and less financial aid to those who do, said Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan think tank The Century Foundation.
In fact, Kahlenberg said, “There are powerful incentives for universities to avoid admitting and enrolling low-income students. The way that universities compete is on prestige and on the U.S.News & World Report rankings, and you get no credit for having a generous financial aid program that brings in more low-income students.””