Top public universities are becoming disproportionately whiter & richer

<p>Citation X. Perhaps those of us on the "left" view the situation not only as cause and effects, but as cycles that perpetuate and reinforce, which if continue could only lead to worse calamity. What we don’t need is merely to assign blame and move on, but rather think of ways that we may break the cycle. Having high achieving students from low-income families not able to attend our flagship state universities because of room and board costs is inexcusable when such universities are giving out full rides to National Merit Finalists, who had done nothing but to do well in a three hours exam.</p>

<p>Long time lurker says: :they're not at the Flagship Uni's because they're all at the IVY's where they can go for free</p>

I have a suspicion (not borne out by anything resembling empirical evidence) that much of the run-up in tuitions in the last 15 years are related to the corresponding increase in "merit scholarships" and other targeted financial aid.


<p>The Lumina Foundation has a report exploring this issue (tuition discounting and its effect on tuition pricing) although one problem with the report is that I tends to talk about all schools lumped together. It does separate public and privates to some degree, but the practice of "merit aid" differs widely from place to place and I think it suffers from not being more specific or segmented in its look at tuition discounting.</p>

<p>As convinced as you may be by your own arguments, Citation, I don't see a single-parent household as an ultimate condemnation to academic failure. I also don't see one's parental situation as the sole or even paramount factor for success; it may play a small part in that an extra parent could be another person to help a student with homework, but then what about the thousands of multiple-parent households in which neither parent helps the student with homework. What is it about a father's residing under the same roof that intrinsically brings up a student's grades and academic capabilities, because you have not shown it, even if you assume it is a fact universally known.</p>

<p>Citation, the relationship between absentee fathers, poverty, and lower school achievement is not news. It's true regardless of race. I agree that we would benefit from societal changes that would lead to fewer children growing up with absentee fathers.</p>

<p>But in the meantime, what are we to do with these children (of all races) growing up in poverty? What is the value in saying, "Should have had a dad, we've got research showing that would have helped" or b*tching about how "liberals" or "leftists" don't understand social demographics? What does it do for these young people who are growing up, through no fault of their own, with less familial stability? That's why discussion about optimizing opportunity remain important.</p>

<p>With one child in private costing $45K and NO AID whatsover...and trust me, we are by no stretch of the imagination "rich".....we will be looking at public universities for the next few kids. Granted, that will put us back about $25K a year, but $25K is $20K shy of $45.........</p>

<p>This country is going to pot for the lower income people because the middle class can no longer afford the private schools if they have one or more kids. So, if the lower kids suffer, well, who brought it on? Not the "white middle class people" but the higher ups who think that if a family makes over $100K a year, then they can afford to shell out $180K for four years of school per kid..........times that by 2 for two kids, three for three, etc., etc.</p>

<p>^Oh, I so agree with you! I have now seen 2 middle class families need to sell their middle class, and yes, I mean middle class 3 bedroom 50 year old homes, on tiny parcels of land, to send a second child to college! This is crazy! I have seen a family go into debt for the first child, and having nothing left to send a second child to college, and there are 3 children!</p>

<p>In Wisconsin most AA's who attend 4 years state schools choose to go to the nearby UW-Milwaukee over UW-Madison even with aid available at UW-Mad. It allows them to save $$$ by living at home and staying close to friends and family as a support system. Makes sense to me. UW Mil is not a bad school at all. Should Madison drag them into an environment that may be less supportive?</p>

<p>I disagree with some of the conclusions presented in the USA Today article.</p>

<p>I think many flagships are getting more and more competetive. Take a look at admissions criteria at the top flagships today versus 10 or 20 years ago. As they get more competetive, those performing better academically will be more likely to be admitted than those who don't. If some ethnic groups generally perform better academincally when applying, they'll be enrolled more than those groups performing less.</p>

<p>It's interesting that the flagships in California, the top UCs, are actually more Asian than white. </p>

<p>The other factor is that as the flagships get more competetive and raise the bar higher, those URMs who are qualified to be admitted are sometimes heavily wooed by privates with money to spend to attract the high-achieving URMs to their colleges.</p>

<p>also 1.2 million more kids applied to colleges last year than in 2000.</p>

<h1>28 That was my thought, too. It may not have the <em>prestige</em> of attending a flagship freshman year, but a branch is often an excellent option, not only for minority kids. Get your feet wet. Smaller classes, more support, money saving. Then transfer after sophomore year. If a person really wants an education they'll find a way to get one.</h1>

<p>I thought the becoming whiter and richer concerned the higher costs to students of the public U's, in my UW alumni magazine recently an article addressed the issue of increasing prices- fewer being able to afford now compared to x and y years ago, the average college student's family income has risen. Nothing to do with private colleges, that's a separate issue.</p>

<p>ucsd_dad, your post is spot on, i.m.o. It is my observation as well, as to the increasing difficulty of admission to the top Publics & the greater reliance on numerically based merit. And as to imbalances, the freshman class at Berkeley last year was 62% Asian, I was told.</p>

<p>I also completely agree with your last paragraph, and plenty of CC URM's have come on to CC to attest to this very fact.</p>

<p>The issue raised by the report has little to do with low achievement or increasing competitiveness at the flagships. As quoted in my earlier post "By virtually any standard, these students’ academic credentials would warrant admission to most of the top universities in the country. Yet nearly three- quarters of our country’s best and brightest high school graduates from low-income families—those who fell in the top quintile of a rigorous academic index attended colleges to which they could have gained admission had they simply achieved at a mediocre level."</p>

<p>It's really not surprising that a poster in here would actually believe that the 70% plus percent illegitimacy rate for inner city blacks,( in essence vast armies of young children w/o fathers), would only concede that this might ("may) "play a small part" in the often disasterous educational outcomes of such children</p>

<p>Instead they will focus on the latest "whites oppress poor blacks' themed study (not unlike 100's of earlier studies) suggesting why the lack of some program, handout, new welfare subsidy, grant or other such new plan -will this time offer the new fix</p>

<p>At least Bill Cosby has the guts to bring up this issue - despite being shouted down by the usual left wing whites and many (but not all) in the black community</p>

<p>Yes, parents do matter a great deal as it pertains to childrens abilities to develop fully, and to suggest it could only really be about "homework" shows an amazing fundamental lack of understanding of the depth of this issue</p>

<p>CitationX, have you read Shelby Steele's new book?</p>

<p>It is not surprising to me that the flagship schools are losing its minorities. There is really not the strong tradition to Ol' State running in many of their families as there are in your typical white, uppermid/mid class famiilies which does drive a surprisingly large number of those apps. Many families I know go to Ol' State regularly with their kids for sporting events, reunions, etc, and it is "in their blood" by the time college app time comes. Also these schools are not targetting minorities as aggresively as some of the private schools that really want to bring up their URM numbers. My friend in Illinois who did end up sending her daughter to the main uni there, got tons of materials from other school, highlighting minority programs, orientations, etc, some very personalized, but did not get a thing from Urbana/Champaign. Because they live and go to school in a predominently white area, and are in the white, middle, upper middle class category in all respects but color, it seems, UofIl at U/C was a familiar choice for them, but it would have been a different story had they not been living in such a setting. Loyola in Chicago was quite aggresive and had many scholarship programs and paid a lot of attention to their minorities in terms of recruitment, and it looked pretty danged good to them on a PR basis. There are a limited number of URMs (which is why they are URMs) that have the background and knowledge to pursue the full array of options at this point in time. I know that the city community schools here are comprised with URM majorities--and I wonder how many of those URMs would not have been better placed at the state flagship school. If it is not a routine thing, a tradition in the family to play this college game, it is not a process one enters so easily. Those immigrant kids who do end up applying to a full array of colleges generally have families who have slanted their goals to that end. As much as we all talk about kids who do this on their own, the vast majority to have family backing and even pushing to get into the "best" school you can.</p>

Yet nearly three- quarters of our country’s best and brightest high school graduates from low-income families—those who fell in the top quintile of a rigorous academic index attended colleges to which they could have gained admission had they simply achieved at a mediocre level."

Don't most high school graduates of all income & academic level attend colleges that accept virtually all applicants? How many truly selective colleges are there?</p>

<p>30 yars ago I was that low-income kid with high stats. I had plenty of reasons to stay local, all of them the right ones. Family responsibilities that I chose to shoulder were the right thing to do. If I were counseling a kid today in my shoes, I'd tell her to do the same. Attending a less-than selective college is not a death sentence. Fast forward 30 years & my kids have no limits on their choices.</p>

<p>Yes, but I also know adults who were those kids, and live with lots of regrets that they <em>didn't</em> have the opportunity to shelve those financial and family responsibilities for a few years.</p>

<p>One friend basically raised her six siblings and went to the local CC, then to the very poor NON-flagship right near home. Yes, she has a college degree, but always wonders about what might have become of her being the class valedictorian had she not been low-income.</p>

<p>That's a sad way to go through life. I'd advise her to concentrate on the good she did by raising her siblings, not on any opportunity lost for herself. It's not different than wondering how one's life would be different if one had been born in another country, or had been born blind, or had been born in another century. Of course your life would be different! It's all about attitude and perspective. Change the things you can, accept the things you can't.</p>

<p>It is what it is.</p>