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Rich colleges keep getting richer, thanks to the federal government

November 18, 2003


In his article, Rich Colleges Receiving Richest Share of U.S. Aid (The New York Times, Nov. 9, 2003), writer Greg Winter points out the federal government typically awards more financial aid funds to wealthy private universities than schools that serve more low-income students.
November 18, 2003


In his article, “Rich Colleges Receiving Richest Share of U.S. Aid” (The New York Times, Nov. 9, 2003), writer Greg Winter points out the federal government typically awards more financial aid funds to wealthy private universities than schools that serve more low-income students.

For example, he says Brown received $169.23 for each student who applied for financial aid in 2000-01. However, the national median for colleges was $14.38. He writes, “Nearly 200 colleges received less than $3 per applicant for financial aid. The University of Wisconsin at Madison got 21 cents.”

In addition, Ivy League schools were awarded five to eight times the national average for their work-study students and five to 20 times the median of grant funds to meet their poor students' daily needs.

Financial aid officers are calling for a new system funneling financial aid to the universities that most low-income students attend, while keeping some “protections” allowing low-income students also to attend private universities.

The major beneficiaries of such a plan would be community colleges and for-profit universities, according to Winter, because “both enroll high percentages of low-income students.”
—Rebecca Mackey