Public Universities Becoming ‘Far Richer, Far Whiter’

Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today, January 14, 2010

The entering and graduating classes at many of the nation’s leading public universities are looking less and less like the state populations they were founded to serve, a report said Wednesday.

The follow-up to a 2006 analysis of federal data concludes that 50 public flagships, one in each state, “continue to enroll students who are far richer and far whiter” than most in their states, says Kati Haycock, director of the non-profit Education Trust, which released both reports.

Findings note some positive trends. From 2003 to 2007, average institution grants increased by 23%, to $4,910, for students with the lowest 20% of family incomes, under $30,201. They decreased by 4% on average, to $4,158, for those in the top 20%, over $115,399.

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[Editor’s Note: Education Trust’s new report “Opportunity Adrift: Our Flagship Universities Are Straying From Their Public Mission” can be downloaded as a PDF file here. Education’s Trust’s website slogan is “Closing the achievement gap.”]

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