College presidents and university administrators waste no time lining up at microphones and manning the op-ed pages on the need to help poor students. However, when we’re not looking, they help the rich.
“Since the late 1990s, nearly two-thirds of selective public universities reduced the share of traditional-aged students they enrolled from the bottom 40 percent of the income scale,” Meredith Kolodner repots in The Washington Monthly. “In addition, two-thirds of these universities increased the share of students from the top 20 percent of the income ladder.”
“And half of them did both at the same time, meaning the wealthiest students took seats at the expense of poorer students.” Kolodner drew on the research of the New America Foundation, a left-wing think tank.
Moreover, Kolodner and New America found, while university officials urge lawmakers and taxpayers to aid the underprivileged, universities use their resources to assist the privileged. For example:
• “The University of Alabama spent more than $100 million on non-need-based aid in 2014-15, which was the most of any public university that year. That means, in essence, that they used $100 million in university money to reduce tuition for certain students, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Since 1999, the University of Alabama has increased its share of affluent students by 13 percentage points while the share of low-income students dropped by 6 percentage points, to 11 percent of the Class of 2013.” and
• “The University of Wyoming gave 92 percent of its financial aid to non-needy students in 2014-15, according to the report. And the percentage of students from the top 20 percent of the income scale jumped to nearly half of the student body, from less than a third in 1999.”