Income Inequality TOUGH TO CONQUER ; despite Stepped-Up Recruitment Efforts at the Nation's Elite Universities, for Most Low-Income Students, a College Education Remains Just a Fantasy

The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY), November 2, 2014 | Go to article overview

Income Inequality TOUGH TO CONQUER ; despite Stepped-Up Recruitment Efforts at the Nation's Elite Universities, for Most Low-Income Students, a College Education Remains Just a Fantasy


If you want to address income inequality, fix higher education.

That seems to be the current thinking in Washington, where President Obama has urged college administrators to better serve low- income students. [para] Some colleges have been following that guidance. The University of Chicago has been praised for its new campaign to recruit low-income students - a strategy that reduces the financial paperwork in the admissions process, and guarantees low- and middle-income students summer employment while no longer expecting them to work during the academic year. And in April, Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system, sent letters to 5,000 high-achieving, low-income California high school students encouraging them to apply, noting that the UC schools cover tuition and fees for students whose families make less than $80,000 annually. [para] Even college ranking systems are doing more to take price and student debt loads into account. Last month, the New York Times ranked colleges that have taken steps to enroll an economically diverse student body. At the top of the list were Vassar, Grinnell and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. By next fall, the White House is expected to introduce a ranking system that measures campuses' tuition and financial aid programs. [para] The fact that relatively few students from low- income backgrounds attend college is responsible in large part for the lack of upward mobility in the United States today, reporter David Leonhardt wrote upon the release of the New York Times' rankings. With their oodles of endowment money, colleges may seem like a fat target. [para] But they aren't the real problem; K-12 education is.

Getting more poor kids to college is not a new idea. The effort began in earnest as far back as the 1960s, when the federal government set up scholarship programs to help low-income students attend college.

It's been about a decade since Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford replaced "early decision" admissions with "early action" programs that allow prospective students to apply early but don't require them to commit. This change can be helpful for less- privileged students who want to compare financial aid offers before promising one school that they'll attend. A number of the Ivies have also eliminated loans from financial aid packages, and some promise to keep tuition at zero for low-income students. Yale, for example, offers a free ride to students whose families earn $65,000 a year or less.

But so far, nothing seems to have had a significant impact. According to research published last year by Caroline Hoxby of Stanford and Christopher Avery of Harvard: "The vast majority of low- income high achievers do not apply to any selective college. This is despite the fact that selective institutions typically cost them less, owing to generous financial aid, than the two-year and nonselective four-year institutions to which they actually apply." Indeed, right after Harvard implemented a policy in 2004 that no student whose family income was less than $40,000 would pay a cent to attend, the university gained 20 additional low-income students in a class of 1,600. That income ceiling has since been raised to $65,000.

Of the 70,000 or so low-income students whose grades and test scores make them eligible to get into the top 10 percent of colleges, only about 20,000 apply, according to Richard H. Sander of the UCLA School of Law. Hoxby and Avery suggest that this is because qualified low-income students typically don't come into contact with college counselors or other adults who have attended elite institutions. It's an interesting observation, but it leads to the obvious question: Why are there so few high-achieving students in low-income schools? And why are there so few teachers who have gone to selective colleges working at our most impoverished schools?

Under the current system, teachers have more school choice than students do. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Income Inequality TOUGH TO CONQUER ; despite Stepped-Up Recruitment Efforts at the Nation's Elite Universities, for Most Low-Income Students, a College Education Remains Just a Fantasy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.