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Education The Almighty Buck United States

100 Top Colleges Vow To Enroll More Low-Income Students (npr.org) 96

Research shows that just 3 percent of high-achieving, low-income students attend America's most selective colleges. And, it's not that these students just aren't there -- every year tens of thousands of top students who don't come from wealthy families never even apply to elite colleges. Universities are taking note -- and banding together under something called the American Talent Initiative -- a network backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen Institute and the research firm Ithaka S+R. To join the club, schools have to graduate 70 percent of their students in six years -- a qualification that leaves just under 300 schools in the U.S. eligible. Nearly a third of those schools -- exactly 100 -- have signed on. Their goal? Enroll 50,000 additional low- and moderate-income students by 2025. From a report: Each school has its own goals, too -- many want to increase the number of Pell Grant students on campus, others aim to improve graduation rates -- but they're all on board to share strategies, learn from each other's missteps and provide data to monitor their progress.
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100 Top Colleges Vow To Enroll More Low-Income Students

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  • smart (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @04:07PM (#56460081)
    Maybe they are too smart to want to attend "elite" colleges?
    • Re:smart (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @04:27PM (#56460223)
      My guess is they don't bother to apply because those elite colleges are expensive as hell and the sticker shock turns people off even if they could receive financial aid that doesn't involve debt hell afterwards. I suspect another reason is that those colleges tend to attract a lot of students from the upper class part of society and they don't feel as though they'll fit in with someone who spends winter break at their uncle's place in the Hamptons or going on a European ski trip.

      The fact is that you don't really need to get an undergraduate degree at an elite university. Most students will do just as well by a state school at a much lower cost. If they're really good they'll have the grades to prove it and I believe that the graduate programs at those elite universities offer a lot more value.

      I also wouldn't be surprised if those elite colleges are under-recruiting from this segment because they've been trying to push a more culturally diverse recruitment policy for a while now. If you're recruiting goals call for for more students from some category, you'll wind up with fewer from some other category by definition.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        This. I considered MIT. Once. Then I saw it was 30k a semester plus room and board.

        I went to State.

      • I also wouldn't be surprised if those elite colleges are under-recruiting from this segment because they've been trying to push a more culturally diverse recruitment policy for a while now.

        I don't believe that "upper class" has been a recruiting priority for diversity programs for many years now, so they will not be overloading the mix. I think it is more likely that "lower class" and even, perhaps, "ethnic" are high-value recruiting targets, and thus those groups are not going to be under-recruited.

      • My guess is they don't bother to apply because those elite colleges are expensive as hell and the sticker shock turns people off even if they could receive financial aid that doesn't involve debt hell afterwards.

        Well, this is the main reason I didn't go to an "elite" college.

        I suspect another reason is that those colleges tend to attract a lot of students from the upper class part of society and they don't feel as though they'll fit in with someone who spends winter break at their uncle's place in the Hamp

      • Can confirm for the American tech industry, at least anecdotally. Having talked with both private and public employers prior to choosing a higher education, the message I received was this: It's better for an applicant to be a big fish in a little pond [i.e. graduate with an IT degree in the top 10% of your community college class], than a little fish in a big pond [spend the same amount of effort, more money, and end up middle-of-the-pack with an IT degree in an "elite college/university"].
        • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

          Than you confirmed with the wrong people unless you're only talking IT...nobody gives a fuck where you learn IT. But engineering, business, medicine...there's a massive difference in starting pay from top schools.

    • There are a lot of factors.
      Normally a lot of smart low-income students have a harder time getting the grades to get into these schools especially competing with wealthier students. Who can have paid tutelage. Study conditions that allow the child to learn. And just a more stable home environment.

      Metrics such as grades. Only work with like students.

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        So do metrics such as getting their work milestones done on time also act the same way? If so, then as an employer, I'm sorry their life sucked, but I wouldn't want them unless they could produce as much as their peers.

        • How do grades coinside with what they can produce.
          The grade metric is something that is often sold, or bargained for. The son of a senator may be dumb as a box of rocks, but he gets good grades because the teacher and the school doesn’t want to deal with such a powerful figure. Then he goes to a prestigious school he fails out in a semester, because such a school has so many powerful parents it just doesn’t care about the senator and his tantrums, and has their own resources to turn it around on

  • What percentage of high-achieving, middle income students attend the most selective school? Is it more or less that 3%?

    • What percentage of high-achieving, middle income students attend the most selective school? Is it more or less that 3%?

      Doesn't matter.

      The difference is that nobody would get heaps of praise for trying to bring in more middle income students.

      Have to keep in mind what the goal is.

  • I want to see the list of which of the ~290 colleges with 70+% 6-year graduation rates have opted *not* to participate.
  • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @04:20PM (#56460175)

    70% graduation rate in 6 years can be achieved in two ways:

    1. Only admit qualified students.

    2. Pass everyone.

    How about 70% graduation rate plus 70% get jobs, in field? Yes I know, they'd just corrupt the definition of 'in field'.

    I'd say that their current method has produced a list of 'elite schools' plus 'diploma mills'.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )

      There's also #3 - cook the books.

      Some schools have affiliated branch campuses that only offer two year degrees. Low achieving students from the main campus are "encouraged" to transfer away from the main campus, then they back fill with the top students from the branches; that magically makes the graduation rate go up.

    • > Do such a good job educating including things like tutoring that everybody learns the material. There was a third possibility that we hadn't even counted upon.
      • That only works if they are qualified students. Otherwise you are tutoring them in middle school subjects, which they didn't get the first two times. Good luck.

        • Middle school subjects are within reach of the vast majority of the population. So if they didn't get it the first two times, it's likely due to some systemic failing not their own lack of intellect.
          • The vast majority of the population that can be arsed to make an effort. After two failures, it's on them to learn how to learn and prove it. Enough disruption.

  • Straddling low income people with loans that they'll never be able to pay off for overpriced education? Great idea... /s
    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      Um, then don't take the fucking loan.

    • A few of the Ivy's (not sure about all, but it may be) do not give loans at all. At Princeton if you make 65k/year or less, you will be 100% covered for tuition, fees, room and board. Heck, a family of 4 making 100k would only pay 5k for Princeton.

  • Affordability (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @04:32PM (#56460259) Homepage Journal

    There's a reason Colleges are called billion dollar hedge funds. The saying is Harvard is a hedge fund with a college attached.

    College tuition keeps going up, the colleges know they will get paid. Kids cant file for bankruptcy if they cant pay their loans because they can't find work.

    Go to a local community college, its the same price of buying a car for 4 years, and people can generally make car payments. In state online 5k, in state 10k, out of state 20k, Private 30k, Harvard 45k (starting). While everyone wants a Tesla, some can only afford a Prius. Costs matter.

    The whole thing is a racket, overpriced, scam.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The cost of tuition of the worst college will always grow to meet the highest available amount of financial assistance.

      p.s. Q: What do you call the guy who graduated last in his class in medical school? A: Doctor.

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        Reminded me of my favorite joke of that genre...

        What do you call a girl who uses the rhythm method? Mommy.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      The whole thing is a racket, overpriced, scam.

      As long as it's mostly rich folks falling for it, I'm good with that.

    • The other issue is that traditional college is extremely wasteful. You have professors all over the country teaching cohorts of maybe a few hundred students each. This means some students get great professors who align with the rare qualities of being simultaneously experienced in their field and able to articulate that knowledge in a way students can learn about it, and some students get horrible professors who can barely speak English. There is a better way.

      Take Khan academy as an example or any other
  • Just about any one can get an student loan.

    • If I could loan someone money that they could never default on, and never declare bankruptcy to get rid of....I wouldn't, because I'm not a fucking sleazy asshole. But there are enough of them that they've both made this system and have taken advantage of it.

      The student loan racket is obscene. The year my wife and I paid that shit off was almost better than the year we got married. Because frankly, we can get out of marriage if it goes south. But we couldn't get out off student loans.

  • This is going to be mostly a waste of time and money for these colleges, hoping to satisfy SJW's. There are already plenty of governmental or private programs for lower income students who actually make good grades and show promise. This just drives more marginal students who are not going to do well and waste everyone's time and effort into the school to achieve quotas.
  • UCLA did this. They wanted to be more "inclusive" so they got a lot more blacks and hispanics to enroll. Guess what? The had way more diversity enrollment, but embarrassingly the same graduation rate for those minorities. What is the takeaway? You can pull the kids from the ghetto and put them in college, but you can't make them learn. They have never learned how to learn so they suffer against classmates who know how to study and grasp concepts. The solutions that universities have come up with are t

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