Aid to the wealthy

Flagship public universities are directing more financial aid to affluent stuents and less to low-income students, reports Education Trust in Engines of Inequality.

Between 1995 and 2003, flagship and other research-extensive public universities actually decreased grant aid by 13 percent for students from families with an annual income of $20,000 or less, while they increased aid to students from families who make more than $100,000 by 406 percent. In 2003, these institutions spent a combined $257 million to subsidize the tuition of students from families with annual incomes over $100,000 – a staggering increase from the $50 million they spent in 1995.

Students from moderate- and middle-income families are getting squeezed out too.

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  1. Frought with peril in these broadbrush stats

    I suspect one would have to look at how many students have family incomes under 20,000 … and how many are above 100,000 — nor whether it is in constant dollars.

    that latter “affluent” column would include a student in a family with 2 parent who teach and earn $50K. (by implication, a teacher with children in college might have a little seniority) Asa sanity check, have teachers salaries gone up since ’95?

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I tried to think of something you could NOT get a lawyer to do [except keep accurate time] and could come up with nothing.

  3. Were these dire statistics adjusted for inflation? How would the situation appear if the numbers were reported per income quartile/quintile instead of by absolute income level? After eight years of largely robust economic growth, there are certainly many fewer families with less than $20K incomes, and many, many more families with more than $100K incomes. Were the rates at which lower/upper income students attended college, and/or applied for aid constant? Was only need-based aid included, or also pure scholarships (which for good or ill, would favor more affluent, who are with high correlation more likely to attend college)? This factoid is meaningless without a lot more information about the methodology used to create it.