Wealthy individuals, shaping the resources available to the most elite colleges, challenging the capacities of other higher education institutions to level playing fields through education.
We talk often in my classes of the work of creating equal opportunity when “equity” is always a moving target.
Even so, a small and exclusive coterie of institutions is disproportionately benefiting from donors’ largesse. The top 17 colleges and universities — less than 1 percent of the total universe of about 3,900 institutions — accounted for more than a quarter of the contributions, $10.42 billion. And 60 colleges and universities, under 2 percent of all institutions, received $20.15 billion, half of the total.
The wealth gap in higher education is not a new story, by any means, but it is being fed, not closed, by the behavior of major donors.