Elite Colleges Go After Low-Income Recruits

<p>Boston Globe: Elite Colleges Go After Low-Income Recruits</p>

<p><a href="http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/07/16/elite_colleges_go_after_low_income_recruits/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/07/16/elite_colleges_go_after_low_income_recruits/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>"In the short term, we have to face the fact that these kids who get into Harvard would not otherwise be going to a community college, they may be going to the University of Michigan honors program," said Caroline Hoxby, a Harvard economist who studies education.
"But in the long term, if low-income kids really get the message that 'as long as you do well, you can go to any school you like,' maybe it will really change the pool of people who are out there."</p>



<p>This made me laugh!! Most of the Harvard students I've seen seem to be middle to upper middle class and wouldn't dream of spending "a small fortune" on such frivolities.</p>

<p>I wonder if Harvard pays for trips home. For a family of limited means, the plane tickets can be a real burden. It may be harder for Harvard to get someone from CA, for example, to come when he or she could go to Berkeley or Stanford (drivable or doable by bus).</p>

<p>call me cynical, but methinks this is and has been the best and slickest marketing campaign out there. It makes 'em feel good, and releives the 'elistist's stigma.</p>

<p>If and when the HYPS and AWS REALLY want to attract poor kids, they'll start holding info sessions on inner-city campuses, instead of the private prep school campuses in the suburbs. Perhaps they hold open houses in inner-city Boston, but on the west coast, those schools can't even make it to the city of Los Angeles proper (pop ~3 million). Instead, they hold their info sessions in nieghboring upper income 'burbs, where one needs a car to attend.</p>

<p>It's even beyond that, bluebayou. Yes, you're right about the inner-city absence. But most of the Ivies are even absent for upper-middle and upper-class locations on the West Coast. I do applaud Yale for sending a rep out yearly to an urban setting (urban Public) in Northern Calif, & I attended a barely-publicized Princeton one in an upscale West Coast suburban setting 2 yrs ago; that location may be annual, too. But I have never seen H send one out yet to suburban or urban locations in our area.</p>

<p>My D attended on scholarship a private school in a very, very ritzy neighborhood which enrolls many wealthy students & a few unwealthy ones. It is not as visible to the Ivies as some other private schools are in that location, but is nevetheless "known" on the East Coast & does send its grads to HYP on a level proportional to the size & strength of the sr. class. H never sends a rep out for the standard college rep visits in fall during school hrs -- but for that matter, neither do Y or P.</p>

<p>Yet I will also note that the upper-level LAC's are no better than H, i.m.o., with regard to traveling reps to private or public locations in "distant" areas. In the case of the LAC's, I don't know if it's a budgetary consideration or if they are really unconcerned with broadening the geographical quotient, which I think can be as important as ethnic inclusion.</p>

<p>And ellenmope, I think you bring up an excellent point about travel costs. That is as much a financial reality as the prescription paid for by H in the article referenced by marite. My own D does have a travel budget in her fin. aid package; it covers a couple of trips home, essentially.</p>

<p>"I wonder if Harvard pays for trips home. For a family of limited means, the plane tickets can be a real burden. It may be harder for Harvard to get someone from CA, for example, to come when he or she could go to Berkeley or Stanford (drivable or doable by bus)"</p>

<p>While not able to speak for all finaid packages, I believe that most private schools offer a rather generous travel allowance to students on full financial aid. My understanding is that it contains 2 RT (by plane for most) for US candidates and one RT for foreign students. In addition there is also a budget for extraordinary expenses.</p>

<p>Issues that confront students on full scholarships are housing needs during holidays, medical bills when insurance is not too great, and the possible impact of taxes. Since some schools close for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, foreign students who do not have the budget to travel back home might find the holidays to be a difficult period. As far as insurance goes, not all financial packages include reimbursement for insurance costs. As someone who racked up a bill of well over hundred thousand dollars for an 8 days stay at the hospital, I have now realized how quickly medical expenses can pile up and that there is a limit to insurance coverage. </p>

<p>The taxes, while not very high, might represent a burden beyond the means of the most needy students.</p>


<p>I don't know what the provisions are for low income students when dorms close down, but many colleges have host family programs for international students. Some colleges close down for vacations that last one week (my S's LAC did); others close down for the Christmas break only. I believe that H closes from about Dec. 20 to Jan.2, as students come back for the reading and exam period. I don't know what will happen if it institutes a J term.
BTW, I remember that J terms were introduced in the early 1970s as a result of the oil crisis. This was intended to reduce heating costs for colleges.</p>

<p>As far as sending reps, NO elites visit our school in rural Vermont. In fact, of my D's 8 schools, only ONE (Smith) sent a rep to our high school. In fact, several kids from our high school have gone to Smith for the last several years, so I guess it's effective. Ok, you say the high school only has 600 kids. But there is a college fair yearly in Burlington, VT and a lot of my D's schools were also not at that (though Brown was! yay! cause she did meet and talk to the regional adcom as did her GC). Some schools that do alum interviews, did not provide them in our region (this was the case with Penn) and I am widely defining the region in terms of miles. This is a big contrast to kids who attend certain kinds of high schools where the reps visit every year and know the guidance counselors, etc. (see The Gatekeepers). So, if they want lower income folks, send them to my school community. We do have smart kids, just not too many rich ones. </p>


If and when the HYPS and AWS REALLY want to attract poor kids, they'll start holding info sessions on inner-city campuses, instead of the private prep school campuses in the suburbs.


<p>Harvard and MIT hold their information sessions in my town at inner-city public schools, and the other top schools hold their info sessions in downtown hotels that are on all the bus lines. That's not a problem here.</p>

I wonder if Harvard pays for trips home. For a family of limited means, the plane tickets can be a real burden. It may be harder for Harvard to get someone from CA, for example, to come when he or she could go to Berkeley or Stanford (drivable or doable by bus).


<p>For the most part this cost is calculated in the cost of attendamce but the actual paying for the trip home ususally does not come in the form of increased grants but through work study,savings from the student's summer earnings or loan money that is distributed to the student once the college gets it. IF a student is dependent on this money for books, if s/he has used summer earnings to make up part of the EFC they could go lacking with out cash for weeks untilt he first paycheck comes in. So no one is actually giving you money. My D has friends who stayed on campus over thanksgiving breaks because they could not afford to go home and then go home again for winter break.</p>

<p>The monies earned from work study by low income kids ends up using
being used for their day to day expenses so when it is time to come home putting together the cost of a ticket can still be a struggle.</p>

<p>I agree with bluebayou, FrenchBaroque and soozievt about these schools not making visits to inner city and small shools. My daughter went to H.S. in Chelsea definitely not inner city and predominately middle class and upper middle class families so I can say with much certainty that they were not visiting schools in East NY and
Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn or in the south bronx.</p>

<p>I know that most of the regional visits for schools she was interested in, we did have to traisp around the city either to the upper east side, wupper west side or downtown brooklyn because all of these sessions were held at elite private schools. Barnard and Mount Holyoke came to her school. </p>

<p>I remember going to Barnard's College planning weekend then asking their Dir. of FA, and Columbia's Dir. of Admissions if they would come speak at D's school and they did come.</p>

<p>Once in a great while HYP will send a rep to our middling suburban high school with 45% Hispanic/45% white presence. One year, a Princeton rep came. </p>

<p>This past year, a Harvard rep came. We were shocked! No one had ever seen a Harvard rep before. No one showed up for her visit though. Most of the white kids figured they couldn't get in or couldn't afford it; most of the Hispanic kids figured they couldn't get in or couldn't afford it. Harvard will have to do some more slick marketing.</p>

<p>I think the best way for Harvard to reach these students is not through meetings at inner city schools but through contact with mentors, teachers and guidance counselors. These people would know which kids to target and encourage--the kind of kids who could handle the work load once they came. One of my friends told me of her poor grand-niece who was encouraged to apply by her mentor who was a Harvard alum--she specifically mentioned the new financial initiative.</p>

<p>Over 20% increase among this group in one year! Harvard and other private schools get to do what they want to do. This kind of reminds me of the genetic engineering arguement. They create a class in such a precise way per what they think is perfect now. For all of the kids on the "what's my chance" board, this is a wake up call. Your chance at Harvard is totally connected to their mission this year.</p>



<p>I have to agree with you here, zagat. What's the use of getting low income kids to apply if you won't accept any of them? Word gets around and no one will apply next year.</p>

<p>"If and when the HYPS and AWS REALLY want to attract poor kids, they'll start holding info sessions on inner-city campuses, instead of the private prep school campuses in the suburbs."</p>

<p>Let's be fair now: Amherst has, and more. The percentage of Pell Grant recipients at Amherst (income $40k or below) is now about 2 1/2X that at H., and substantially more than P and Y, and W and S. They had watched Smith do the same (including visits to inner city schools, and paid transportation to visit the campus) with very positive results for more than two decades (Smith's percentage is still 80% higher than Amherst's), and about a decade or so ago, made a similar commitment. And, yes, both Amherst and Smith have dealt with on-campus housing during holidays (and get-togethers too, and medical and other emergency funds) - it goes with the territory. </p>

<p>To be fair, P's elimination of loan expectations did increase the amount of student grant aid per student (still not in the top 10, but close), but it should be noted that the largest quintile of students receiving loans in aid are in the top 20% but not top 5% (incomes of $85k to $150k per year in family income.) The greatest beneficiary of the policy were cost-conscious top 20%ers, and for P the gain is that folks are less likely to reject them in favor of UMichigan's Honors Program or some such, as they saw some doing already. </p>

<p>Hoxby for some reason believes they need to "change the pool of people who are out there" - but the reality is that the pool has been out there all the time. The difficulty has not been in the financial aid office per se, but in the so-called "need-blind admissions office". If you set targets for the enrollment of low-income students, by definition you HAVE TO BE "need-aware".</p>

just FYI, my own D's travel allocation is a separate ("granted") line item in her fin. aid award, not something she is expected to earn from summer or term work.</p>

<p>FrenchBaroque, you and Sybbie are not discussing the same side of the ledger.</p>

<li><p>Travel is listed as a COST along the tuition, room and board, fees, and occasional expenses. This makes up your total estimated cost of attendance or COA. The COA may or may not reflect the exact expenses.</p></li>
<li><p>The school then awards a package of grants and/or work study and loans. They also add the number for expected summer earnings to derive the NEED to be met.</p></li>
<li><p>If there is no gap, the COA minus the package should equal the EFC. If there is a gap, you'll have a percentage of unmet need. </p></li>

<p>If the school follows the lead of Harvard and Princeton, the entire award should be in the form of grants and the complete need should be funded in cash. However, I am not sure if HP also waive the work-study or expected summer earnings.</p>

<p>Another alternative is that outside scholarships might replace the portion of loans, workstudy, and expected summer earnings. The combination of school awards and scholarships will fund the entire COA, and that includes travel and extraordinary expenses. </p>

<p>For what it is worth, 100% of the work study and the expected summer earnings are needed to cover the COA, and not the EFC or expenses unrelated to attending school. If a student does not complete his work study or fails to earn sufficient income in the summer, he won't have enough money for the COA.</p>

<p>How many here feel that colleges should only consider prospective applicants based on their income?</p>

<p>I know that in Silicon Valley, so-called elite college reps will host an information session at a local hotel, community college or elsewhere, but it doesn't mean that low-income students will be invited. Invitations are USPS mailed/e-mailed to HS counselors who often assume that these students aren't interested in elite schools.</p>

<p>HS counselors, especially in public schools, can be a student's best friend or worst enemy and often don't encourage low-income students to pursue a college-prep track, take AP courses, participate in science fairs, debate (forensics), academic oriented ECs or summer enrichment programs.</p>

I don't think these technical differences matter so much. The point is, that the travel + tuition + boarding + books + personal expenses are all, in our case, granted.</p>

<p>Yes, there is a small portion of need (for the entire package) that will be fulfilled via student employment. If that is not fully met for any reason, the student will have to make up that gap through additional employment, a small loan will have to be acquired, or add'l parental contribution will make up that difference.</p>

<p>One is not "working" for travel specifically any more than one is "working" for one's tuition as a separate category. (Sybbie's post implied that to me; I may have read her wrong.) And clearly if a student wanted more travel $ (for local trips, for example), he/she could earn a little more to make more money available for the entire package of expenses.</p>

<p>I guess the point I think is more important, perhaps, is the college or U recognizing travel as an essential expense for those living far away, & including that in the needs budget.</p>

<p>"How many here feel that colleges should only consider prospective applicants based on their income?"</p>

<p>You mean like they do now? (what did you mean by "only")</p>

Who used the word "only"? I missed that.</p>