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Color and Money Is a College Course!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Low-Income Enrollments Declining at Many Top Colleges
The analysis found that some institutions experienced declines in the share of their students receiving need-based Pell Grants even after launching widely publicized efforts to cover the full tuition costs of low-income students. “Contrary to what one might expect, it appears that there is no strong correlation between the generous new fiscal measures and success in bringing low-income students to the campus,” the Journal says. “The only sure conclusion is that money alone will not do the job.” It suggests that colleges take other steps, such as aggressive recruiting, to try to increase the share of their students who are low-income.
The Journal's analysis examined 30 top universities and 30 top liberal arts colleges. Confirming an observation made by Peter Schmidt in Color and Money, it shows that low-income students accounted for a rapidly rising share of the enrollments of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Los Angeles in the decade after those institutions were barred under state law from considering race in admissions. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor experienced a sharp decline in the share of its students who were low-income during the years in which if fought to keep its race-conscious admissions policies in place.