Colleges Spend More On Recruiting Students Than Aid For Needy Students

Stephen Burd| November
2011, Higher Ed Watch

 

According a recent U.S.
Department of Education report, higher education has reached a troubling
milestone: the country’s public and private four-year colleges are now
spending a greater share of their institutional aid dollars on trying to
attract the students they desire than on meeting the financial need of the
low- and moderate-income students they enroll.The report from the Education
Department’s National Center for Education Statistics provides the clearest
picture to date of how colleges, under the sway of enrollment management
consultants, have fundamentally changed the way they spend their
institutional aid dollars, to the detriment of low-income students. Fifteen
years ago, colleges primarily devoted their aid funds to making college
more-accessible and affordable for those with financial need. But in the
years since, colleges’ priorities have dramatically shifted. The report found
that by 2007-08, merit aid trumped need-based aid at these institutions

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