Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Students who need funding are less appealing to some financially squeezed universities

As tuition at higher education institutions continues to climb, Tamar Lewin of the New York Times reports on a survey by Inside Higher Ed, an online resource for higher-education professionals, that reveals college admissions officers are now actively avoiding recruiting students who require financial aid, thus excluding many from poor and middle-class homes.

More than a third of the 462 admissions and enrollment directors at four-year colleges and universities said they worked harder the previous year to enroll students who could pay full price without assistance. Many admitted the poor economy was driving their decisions. Meanwhile, one-fourth said they felt pressure from trustees or development officers to admit certain applicants. “We certainly have standards, but there needs to be awareness that when the economy starts to crumble, the standards may start to go out the window,” David Hawkins, director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, told Lewin.

The top priority for admissions officers at four-year institutions was to recruit international students who pay higher tuition, but at community colleges, officers reported being most concerned with providing financial aid to low and middle-income students, and were more focused on cuts to state funding than whether or not students can pay without financial aid, Lewin reports. (Read more)

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