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U Kentucky shifting away from merit aid

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Replies to: U Kentucky shifting away from merit aid

  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,447 Senior Member
    @austinmshauri

    First, you have to define what low income is. UK has neither the endowment nor the state funding to offer free tuition to all families earning under $125k/year.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,689 Senior Member
    I don't think that increasing the amount of need based aid a college offers results in lower qualty students. Some universities only offer need based aid and it doesn't seem to be hurting them any.

    It's unfortunate that some people equate low income with lack of intelligence. Not everyone uses test scores to determine intellectual prowess. However, if you do and you don't want your child mingling with those you consider average, pay for them to go someplace else. If you can't afford it, now you're in the same boat as all the other families whose kids have good, but not tippy top stats, who have to be creative in funding their education. Welcome to a very large club.

    The college isn't discontinuing merit aid, they're simply altering their distribution ratios, so some kids will still get merit. Freeing up dollars for more need based aid gives UK greater flexibility. More students with ACT scores < 30 can be offered scholarships, and the college can consider individual circumstances to determine the amount they want to offer. Kids with scores > 30 who have need will likely still apply because traveling in state is still cheaper than traveling OOS. Families who don't qualify for need based aid will likely have other options. It's not the college's fault if they don't like whatever those options turn out to be.
  • mimisdadmimisdad Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    NMF DD says she won't go to UK or other free ride schools. I like free ride. Could these schools keep the elite together to produce a high end reputation group and preserve the value? Recruiting employers would understand the college choice and value accordingly. Or, are the elite students lumped with the general student population?
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 1,177 Senior Member
    @austinmshauri writes: The college isn't discontinuing merit aid, they're simply altering their distribution ratios, so some kids will still get merit

    Yes. If UK had given us a full tuition scholarship only, and not a room & board stipend as well, it still would have been the best offer we had on the table.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,689 Senior Member
    @roethlisburger, I didn't say UK should offer free tuition. I was responding to a poster who said people believe, in theory, with offering more aid to low income students but they wouldn't send their kids to a school that did. I said that I support the NYS proposal and I'm not afraid to send my kids to our schools. I suspect there are families in Kentucky who feel the same way -- they support the moves UK is making and will still encourage their kids to apply there.
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 1,177 Senior Member
    @mimisdad

    Are the elite students lumped in with the general population?

    That sounds so awful, lol, I'm assuming it was just your choice of wording and not your sentiment.

    I'm hoping my own entitled snowflake who went to a private high school on scholarship in an affluent area ---& thought she was too good for UK---learns to appreciate and value not only economic diversity, social & cultural & regional diversity, but academic diversity too.

    One can dream!
  • LOUKYDADLOUKYDAD Registered User Posts: 542 Member
    edited February 9
    "If you can't afford it, now you're in the same boat as all the other families whose kids have good, but not tippy top stats, who have to be creative in funding their education. Welcome to a very large club."

    Even if you can afford it, and you have kids with tippy top stats, in many cases it is still intelligent to chase merit aid. One can wind up wealthier. It can also be an intelligent decision for a school to offer it to those students. The school and the state it serves may wind up better off.
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 Registered User Posts: 479 Member
    @LOUKYDAD writes: "Even if you can afford it, and you have kids with tippy top stats, in many cases it is still intelligent to chase merit aid. One can wind up wealthier. It can also be an intelligent decision for a school to offer it to those students. The school and the state it serves may wind up better off."

    You're still not getting it. The state is not necessarily better off giving merit aid to students who will choose State Public University regardless of the cost and who will still graduate with a bachelor's degree. However, the state may be better off giving need-based aid to students who will now be able to complete a bachelor's degree at State Public University because they can afford it. These students still have high scores, and now they have a chance for a college degree.

    Two questions:

    (1) How many high-stat Kentucky residents who can afford UK choose to leave for out-of-state schools?

    (2) How many low- and moderate-income Kentucky residents who cannot afford UK for four years are dropping out?

    If the number of kids dropping out due to lack of funds is significantly higher than the number of kids leaving the state to go to school (especially if many return upon graduation), then it is in the state's best interest to funnel some of the money to keeping low- and moderate-income kids in school.

  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,447 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    @austinmshauri I don't think that increasing the amount of need based aid a college offers results in lower qualty students. Some universities only offer need based aid and it doesn't seem to be hurting them any.

    You're mixing up having low income students with only having need based aid. Some of the need based aid schools admit almost no low income students, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/18/upshot/some-colleges-have-more-students-from-the-top-1-percent-than-the-bottom-60.html.
    Higher education leads to better employment outcomes and less poverty.

    What's true for an individual isn't necessarily true for the group. There's a lot of credential creep where everyone has to run faster to stay in place.
    These students still have high scores, and now they have a chance for a college degree.

    Another assumption not in evidence. It seems reasonable to bet most of the drop-outs have low-stats.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 30,456 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    ^that's what the KY study showed them and why they changed their aid structure: those dropping out are NOT doing so because they had low stats, but because they're middle and lower income and can't afford to stay.
    In short UKY is losing good students due to financial aid inadequacy that can be remediated by offering less complete merit aid and more complete financial aid (but STILL offering merit aid: if they offer full tuition scholarships with a research/summer stipend, they'll still be competitive. Look at how popular the UAlabama Honors College is on these boards, and the scholarship is full-tuition.)
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,689 Senior Member
    mimisdad wrote:
    Could these schools keep the elite together to produce a high end reputation group and preserve the value? Recruiting employers would understand the college choice and value accordingly. Or, are the elite students lumped with the general student population?

    Colleges are not prisons. If I'm understanding your meaning correctly, I think you're mistaken about which is the "high end" group.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,447 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    @MYOS1634 What study? Is it linked anywhere that people can read and evaluate. Even a lot of published, peer reviewed studies have enough methodological flaws they're almost useless. High stat, low stat, high income, and low income are also such vague terms as to be almost useless. You can find people on CC who think $300k/year is middle class. You could take a trip to Harlan and people would think you're rich if you make $100k/year.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 30,456 Senior Member
    The KY study referenced/linked at one point on this thread, which started the shift from 90% merit/10% need to 35% merit/65% need.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,447 Senior Member
    @MYOS1634

    The OP's link is what I would call a news article, not a study. Still, you're extrapolating way beyond the original link. The original link found that for a fixed freshmen GPA, a higher unmet need reduced the likelihood of retention. It didn't tell you what proportion of dropouts had above a 3.0 freshmen GPA. It definitely didn't say anything about what proportion of need-based aid would be going to low stats kids. Everything else equal, more financial aid increases retention. I don't think the OP's link proves anything more than that.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 30,456 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    ^I was thinking of the Bill/Melinda Gates Foundation study and how it applies to what is apparent in KY/with UKY. Sorry, I dont have it at my fingertips.
    I know a study proved it and several universities have been trying to act on it, especially with the push for increasing rates of 4-/5-/6- year graduation. Some universities have implemented micro loans when they discovered something as low as $500 missing could derail a student.
    One thing that stuck out for me was that half students with EFC 0 dropped out due to insufficient financial aid (leading to working too many hours which made it impossible to balance work and college.)
    Yes it doesn't tell you that dropouts have a 3.0 freshman GPA or that need-based aid would go to low-stats kids*. It does tell you the main reason is insufficient financial aid leading to too many work hours and that better need-based aid increases retention which is necessary for students to graduate.

    *Because UKY is the flagship, by definition low stats kids, per KY standards, aren't admitted there.
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