Scholarship News

Report Argues Flagship Universities Not Doing Enough for Low-Income Students


January 14, 2010
by Scholarships.com Staff
While state universities are held up as examples of high-quality college educations at affordable prices, not everyone who wants to go to college can afford them. A new report by the advocacy group The Education Trust looked at this concern and found that despite heavily publicized campaigns enacted in the last few years, public flagship universities still are not doing enough to enroll and assist low-income and minority students.

While state universities are held up as examples of high-quality college educations at affordable prices, not everyone who wants to go to college can afford them. A new report by the advocacy group The Education Trust looked at this concern and found that despite heavily publicized campaigns enacted in the last few years, public flagship universities still are not doing enough to enroll and assist low-income and minority students.

ADVERTISEMENT

Public flagships tend to be relatively large, research-oriented universities and are typically considered the most academically challenging and highly respected public schools in the country. Contrary to private colleges, a central part of the mission of public universities is to educate the students of the state, including the ones who cannot afford to pay full freight. Concerns have repeatedly been raised that the makeup of public flagship universities has looked less and less like the makeup of their states over time, suggesting a failure to uphold their public mission.

The Education Trust published a report in 2006 that provided support for these concerns, showing that low-income and minority students were underrepresented at state flagships when compared to the states’ overall college-going populations. The new report, entitled Opportunity Adrift, revisits this issue and winds up reprising the initial report’s criticisms, saying that while universities have put more money toward recruiting and funding low-income and minority students, they still have a lot of room for improvement.

Between 2003, the year their first report analyzed, and 2007, the source of the current report’s data, minority students became slightly better represented at the nation’s 50 public flagship universities. However, the improvement was only slight and disparities continue.  Similarly, average financial aid has increased sharply for students in the bottom income quintile, while holding more or less steady for other income levels from 2003-2007. After adjusting for inflation, students with the lowest income received an average of 23% more institutional grant aid in 2007 than they did in 2003. However, about $750 million of flagship universities’ $1.9 billion total institutional aid goes to students with family incomes over $80,400, students who probably have significantly less financial need.

Despite the shift in aid priorities from merit-based awards to need-based awards, public flagship universities actually enroll a higher percentage of high-income students and a lower percentage of low-income students than they did in 2003. Budget woes of the last two years are likely to drive this gulf even wider as schools find themselves needing to enroll more tuition-paying students and states are forced to cut funding to aid programs that may help low-income students enroll in public universities.

Individual institutions have made marked improvements in enrolling and funding low-income and minority students and the report takes care to highlight their achievements. However, the main conclusion of the report's authors is that more needs to be done to ensure that high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to be able to access higher education that can help them improve their lives. Research has shown that low-income students are less likely to attend colleges that challenge them and are more likely to opt not to go to college or to drop out before completing their degrees. A growing body of work, including this latest report, suggests that recruiting and retaining low-income and minority students should be a primary concern for public flagship universities that want to uphold their missions of providing an affordable college education to their states' populations.

Get instantly matched to scholarships that meet your skillset, strengths and unique talents. Our search algorithms match you to scholarships that fit your profile. Access a complete list of college scholarships now by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
College is just around the corner, but you still have plenty of time to win scholarships for high school seniors. Now is the best time to start applying because it is your last chance to qualify for awards available only to high school students. Scholarships are one of the best ways to pay for college because you don’t have to pay them back.

Top Scholarships for High School Seniors Graduating 2023

August 17, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
College is just around the corner, but you still have plenty of time to win scholarships for high school seniors. Now is the best time to start applying because it is your last chance to qualify for
College is a big commitment and burnout is easy if you don’t pace yourself. That said, taking a semester off is a normal thing to do while pursuing your degree. Whether you need a quick break for personal reasons or exciting opportunities, like a once-in-a-lifetime trip or work experience, here’s what you need to know about your scholarship money before taking time off.

Will Taking a Semester Off Hurt My Scholarship Money?

August 5, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
College is a big commitment and burnout is easy if you don’t pace yourself. That said, taking a semester off is a normal thing to do while pursuing your degree. Whether you need a quick break for
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid — more commonly known as FAFSA is the key to funding your college education. Not only can the FAFSA connect you to grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities, but filling out the form is 
also the first step to applying for federal student loans. Even though filling out the FAFSA is simple and straightforward, several misconceptions still fly around it. Here are the top FAFSA myths you need to stop believing.

FAFSA Myths You Need to Stop Falling For

July 26, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid — more commonly known as FAFSA is the key to funding your college education. Not only can the FAFSA connect you to grants, scholarships, and work-study
The new semester is just around the corner, which means it is time to start thinking about how you are going to afford the new school session. Student loans can be taken out any time of the year and are useful for paying for textbooks, special classes or summer terms and additional living expenses. Choosing the right student loan can help you reach your education and career goals while still keeping your finances balanced. Here’s what to look for before you take out a student loan this summer.

Which Student Loan Is Best for Me?

June 13, 2022
by Ashley Eneriz
The new semester is just around the corner, which means it is time to start thinking about how you are going to afford the new school session. Student loans can be taken out any time of the year and
As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we reflect on the enormous contributions of Asian Americans and share their culturally rich history. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, with more than 23 million it total. However, API individuals, communities, and businesses have been disproportionately impacted by discrimination and criminal acts that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic in recent years. Now more than ever, we need to stand united as Americans against anti-Asian racism.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2022 Scholarships

May 25, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we reflect on the enormous contributions of Asian Americans and share their culturally rich history. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make
The   Voyager Scholarship was implemented by the Obamas in partnership with Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, who donated $100 million to this program. The mission of this scholarship is to help students pursue careers in public service and solve some of our world’s greatest challenges. The Voyager Scholarship provides students access to education and travel opportunities to help expand their horizons and bring about significant change. During this scholarship’s first year, and it is estimated that 100 college juniors will receive up to $50,000 to cover tution and educational expenses, plus up to $30,000 in international travel stipends and credits. Recipients have the option to renew as seniors.

The Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service

May 18, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
The Voyager Scholarship was implemented by the Obamas in partnership with Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, who donated $100 million to this program. The mission of this scholarship is to
Summer is a great time to experience new things outside of the hectic school year routine. For students who want to beef up their resume, make some money, and have a little fun along the way, working a summer job is a great option! A part-time job gives you the unique opportunity to gain real-world experience and begin forging your own career path. You’ll also get the chance to become a better communicator by working with a wide range of customers and co-workers from all walks of life. Explore which types of work environments you might enjoy with these top 4 summer jobs (and related scholarships)!

Top 4 Summer Jobs For High School Students

May 13, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
Summer is a great time to experience new things outside of the hectic school year routine. For students who want to beef up their resume, make some money, and have a little fun along the way, working
Applications are currently open for the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Corporation Foundation’s  Better Together STEM Scholarship! Ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, the program is available to students who are pursuing STEM-related careers at universities in California and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. Eligible applicants include graduating high school seniors, college students, veterans, nontraditional students, and adults returning to school and plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate program at an accredited four-year college or university. Don’t delay, applications close on June 3, 2022 at 3:00 PM CT.

PG&E Better Together STEM Scholarship

May 11, 2022
by Liz Montenegro
Applications are currently open for the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Corporation Foundation’s Better Together STEM Scholarship! Ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, the program is available to students