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Schools With Good Financial Aid
When the development offices of big and incredibly rich universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Columbia make their case to potential donors, the number one message is always the same: financial aid.
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The idea, bolstered by the profile of talented students from humble origins admitted to these elite schools, is that giving to Harvard ($35.7 billion) and Yale ($25.4 billion) from poor cities and neighborhoods Help low-income students pay for tuition. Institutions are not only leading producers of cutting-edge research; They are indeed the engines of upward social mobility. So while these schools may seem like huge unscrupulous funds tied to completing schools for underprivileged children, they are actually key guarantors of the American Dream.
But recent research from the Equal Opportunity Project, led by Stanford’s Raj Chetty, Brown’s John Friedman and Harvard’s Nathaniel Hendren, suggests that’s a myth. Chetty and Friedman, along with co-authors Emmanuel Saez, Danny Yagan (both at UC Berkeley) and Nicholas Turner at the US Treasury, used a large data set covering 10.8 million people born between 1980 and 1982 to Estimate the impact of individual universities on students. Potential to move to higher levels of income distribution.
They were able to compare the college attendance records of individual departments of education with those students’ future earnings (in 1980 for older students up to age 34).
Your parents’ income as reported on their tax returns. This, in turn, allowed them to see how many children born in the 20% of the income distribution (family income of $25,000 or less for the 1980 cohort) were able to make it to the 20% or even all. run away Top 1 percent. Also, because the sample size is so large, they can break it down by individual schools.
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The good news is that elite schools are very good at getting the poorest kids they teach in the 20% and
Good for keeping them in the top 1 percent. At Harvard, more than half of students born into families in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale ($58,000 a year for adults their age), and one in eight in the 1 percent ($197,000) entered. a year) between 32 and 34 years. Stanford did even better: 18.5 percent of participants in the bottom quintile were in the top 1 percent.
But there is a problem: these schools hardly teach poor children. For the 1980-’82 cohort, only 3% of Harvard students came from the bottom fifth of the income distribution. For Stanford, the share was only 3.6 percent. These students are underrepresented in elite schools by a factor of five, relative to the overall population. A handy interactive New York Times created with this data shows that the school has grown modestly over the years.
In the class of 2013, 4.5 percent of Harvard students and 4 percent of Stanford students came from the bottom fifth. By contrast, 15 percent of Harvard students and 17 percent of Stanford students came from the top percentile, families earning $630,000 or more a year. Wealthy children were three to four times more likely to be enrolled in schools than low-income children.
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Instead, the real champions emerging from the research are not high schools, but less selective schools that admit large numbers of students from low-income backgrounds and help them move up the income ladder. These include schools such as the City College of New York, or Cal State Los Angeles or the University of Texas Pan-American (which later became UT Rio Grande Valley). All three of these schools drew more than one-fifth of their students from the bottom fifth in income levels, and all three were among the top 10 schools ranked by the proportion of students with two or more income quintiles.
There are two major lessons to be learned here. One is that schools like Harvard and Stanford must recruit and enroll more low-income students, because when
, the results are truly incredible; They simply haven’t demonstrated a great ability to enroll a student body that reflects the country’s economic makeup. And the problem is not financial aid (which is already very generous at these schools) but distribution; These schools simply do not reach thousands of poor children.
The second lesson is that policymakers should pay more attention to the Rio Grande Valleys of the CUNYs and UTs of the world. There is a large category of so-called champions, universities that successfully welcome and educate low-income students, and we still don’t know what they’re doing or how to copy it.
Colleges That Meet Full Financial Need
The study’s authors track the schools they examine using a variety of metrics, but three are the most important:
If you rank schools by pass rates, you get a very different picture than if you rank them by pass rates. The best schools with a 20% success rate specialize in high-skill, high-income careers such as health or engineering. The top three are all pharmacy schools, with California Maritime Academy, Rose-Holman Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd College, and Advanced Institute of Hair Design not far behind.
But these schools usually do not attract many poor children. For example, 1.7% of Rose-Hulman students come from the bottom 20%, according to the latest data. MCPHS University (formerly Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), which performs best among successful schools in terms of access, enrolls 8.9 percent of its students in the bottom 20 percent, more than the Ivies. Better, but still not ideal.
Occupying one-fifth of the income distribution. But their overall impact is limited because they don’t enroll many of these students to begin with.
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Success rate: the proportion of poor children who not only finish in the top 20 percent but also in the first
The top schools by this metric are the most selective universities and liberal arts colleges. Claremont McKenna tops the list, followed by Rhodes College, Stanford, Harvey Mudd, Caltech, Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Penn. (St. Louis College of Pharmacy is listed just ahead of Princeton, Harvard and MIT.)
If you’re a poor kid who gets into one of these schools, you have an incredibly high chance of becoming one of the richest people in America. Nearly a third of Claremont McKenna students in the bottom 20% are in the top 1%; At Caltech and Columbia, they have a 15 percent chance of finishing at the top of the ladder. Considering the average poor kid has less than a 1 percent chance of ending up in the 1 percent, that’s pretty good.
But most of the poor people are not included in these schools. Only 4.8 percent of Claremont McKenna students come from the bottom fifth of the income scale; At Princeton, only 2.2 percent. Although these few students achieve at large, these schools enroll so few that their overall impact on social mobility is small.
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At the other end of the spectrum, sorting schools by access reveals a large number of schools that include many poor children but do not offer much mobility. The top school in terms of access is not very representative (United Talmudic Seminary, Stamar Yeshiva in Brooklyn), but Moultrie Technical College, a public technical college near the Florida-Georgia border, provides a good case study. Almost half of the students come from the bottom fifth of the income scale, very good numbers if a school is really trying to help with social mobility. But only 2.9 percent of these low-income students fall into the top fifth of income levels.
Moultrie’s overall turnover rate (hits divided by wins) is 1.3 percent. More than one in 100 students are poor children who make it to the top after going to school. That’s about the same percentage as Princeton’s, although the two schools arrive at their unfavorable rankings through very different means.
These are, in short, two types of schools that have problems. There are highly effective schools that barely enroll poor children but have tons for a small number, and there are very ineffective schools that enroll many poor children but provide little for them.
If you rank schools by their overall mobility rate, the access they provide to the poor
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