Can Top Universities Afford to Admit More Low-Income Students?


May 5, 2017 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. A report says college costs are unaffordable for many students; top universities are criticized for not using funds from their budget surpluses to admit and provide financial aid to more low-income students; and President Trump’s issues an executive order requiring a review of federal education policies.

Elementary & Secondary Education

  • Teenagers with limited financial means and minimal access to the internet have significant technological barriers to applying to college, since the vast majority of applications are made online. “Libraries have computers, but there’s a 30-minute limit,” says USC researcher Kristan Venegas. “Imagine having to fill out your college application in a 30-minute window.” This can lead many low-income students to apply to fewer colleges than the average student, Fast Company reports.

  • A new study finds that though high school graduation rates have risen for students across the board, low-income, African-American and Hispanic students continue to graduate at a lower rate than their peers, The Associated Press reports. Jennifer DePaoli, lead researcher for the study, says that states need to do more to help the groups with the lowest graduation rates get their high school diplomas.

  • President Trump issues an executive order mandating a review of federal education policies by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, focusing on K-12 schools, the New York Times reports. The review will be overseen by a regulatory task force headed Robert Eitel, a critic of federal education regulations.

Higher Education

  • The Institute for College Access and Success releases a state-by-state report on college affordability. Even with financial aid, students from families making less than $30,000 per year would have to spend on average 77 percent of their total income to cover the average net price of a four-year institution, the report finds. In 15 states and Washington, D.C., low-income families would have to pay over 100 percent of their total income. NASFAA summarizes.

  • Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce reports that the nation’s top universities could afford to enroll far more academically qualified low-income students. These universities have big budget surpluses – ranging from $250 million to $1.2 billion annually at the 10 wealthiest – that could be used to subsidize low-income applicants, the report finds. The study finds that 86,000 low-income students score as well or better than students who enroll at the most selective colleges each year. The Hechinger Report summarizes.

Cooke Foundation Highlights

  • Cooke Scholars continue to draw attention. Read about one Cooke Graduate Scholar’s journey from prison to law school at the University of Central Florida and an Undergraduate Transfer Scholar from Chicago.

Social Media Spotlight



Want to get the Cooke Chronicle sent directly to your inbox each Friday?

Sign Up Here