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Is Linking Funding to College Graduation Rates 'Misguided'?

December 22, 2016 Comments (0) International Education

Private Colleges Call for More Need-Based Aid, Less on Merit


In a draft statement released towards the media earlier this week, several private college leaders are calling on other schools to resume their resolve for need-based financial aid. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the document requires doing away with using the phrase \”merit aid\” completely, stating that need-based aid will go further in helping schools attract talented students who originate from low-income families.

The Chronicle explains the statement C which S. Georgia Nugent, obama of Kenyon College, described as \”a work in progress\” C came about as a result of recent conversations between private college leaders on the subject of financial aid reform. The paper, titled \”High Tuition/High Discount Has No Future,\” states that the competition among colleges for any smaller number of qualified students means that more of the resources are being put towards merit aid, frequently for students who don’t require much assistance in covering tuition.

According to analysis by Daniel Luzer of the Washington Monthly, merit scholarships have grown to be one of the tools open to smaller private schools to attract candidates who might otherwise sign up for more selective colleges. However this practice has brought about an unintended side-effect: a quick upwards spiral within the cost of tuition and financial dealings that appear designed to conceal the real cost of higher education.

This is an understandable trend-?U.S. News?doesn\’t give institutions credit for keeping education affordable, and it does families not good to pay more for college-but over the long run this leads to an arms race of school spending, makes college more costly, and disguises the actual cost of college.

Luzer highlights that with no standardization of the meaning of \”need,\” smaller colleges continue to be poorly equipped to compete against their better-funded opponents. While numerous high profile schools now practically offer free tuition for students who are considered low income, the definition they use C a family earning under $65,000 C may be unaffordable to a school in less secure budget.

In general, however, this seems like a good idea. This is, after all, how educational funding used to work on most institutions. The school cost a certain amount, and most students paid that amount. For rich families, obviously, it was easy; for middle-class families it was hard, but nonetheless possible without entering debt. It was only the very poor who got scholarships to defray the cost of tuition

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