Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Full tuition and college admissions

The NY Times is shocked by the results of a survey of admissions officers: Universities Seeking Out Students of Means

"More than half of the admissions officers at public research universities, and more than a third at four-year colleges said that they had been working harder in the past year to recruit students who need no financial aid and can pay full price..."
"Similarly, 22 percent of the admissions officials at four-year institutions said the financial downturn had led them to pay more attention in their decision to applicants’ ability to pay.

“As institutional pressures mount, between the decreased state funding, the pressure to raise a college’s profile, and the pressure to admit certain students, we’re seeing a fundamental change in the admissions process,” said David A. Hawkins, director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “Where many of the older admissions professionals came in through the institution and saw it as an ethically centered counseling role, there’s now a different dynamic that places a lot more emphasis on marketing.”

1 comment:

Highgamma said...

In a truly free market, is this bad? The higher income students would be subsidizing the lower income students. The lower income students would be providing an enhanced educational experience to the higher income students. (There's lots of research out there that says that students benefit from the strength of the students with whom they are surrounded.)

Of course, the elite part of higher education is heavily subsidized by the government, so you can say that these higher income students are "getting a bargain", but suppose that the tuition rate for these students was such that they effectively paid that subsidy back? What then? Especially if the quality of these higher income students is only marginally lower than the students that they replace.

For those of you who are offended by these questions, consider how their legitimacy would be unquestioned if we were talking about a market beside higher education.