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Friday, March 26, 2010

From the Mouths of Colleges: Search for Low-Need Students

Every now and again, I glance at the websites of the liberal arts schools where I had short-term jobs. I love the ethos of such schools, but was, for my own children turned off by the expense.

I've seen musings on the internet about the relation of the housing bubble and the tuition increases of colleges: people seemed more than ready to borrow from their housing appreciation. And, of course, there are many wealthy people around. In case you didn't know, colleges ARE businesses, albeit non-profits. The particular college below was, during my brief period of employ, in the money, the recipient of the largesse of a major drug company's foundation.

From the mouth of a college: the targeting of students from families that can afford to pay its almost $50,000/ year tuition and room and board fees:

Faced with falling enrollment due to the current financial situation, members of the community are devoting significant time and resources toward attracting more students to the college.

The Office of Admissions is pursuing a number of initiatives aimed at increasing the applicant pool and improving the yield of admitted students who end up enrolling. Some of the initiatives are aimed specifically at students who are low-need, or whose families can afford to pay a higher portion of tuition costs.

Mr. X explained that the goal of the initiatives is to increase enrollment from last fall’s total of 1,124 students to the college’s target figure of 1,200 students.

Any thoughts?


simple in France said...

Wow! You know, I have a lot of thoughts going through my mind. I got a great education at a small, liberal arts college that was paid for almost entirely by grants and scholarships. So I was lucky.

I've long thought that the cost of education in the US is getting out of control, really out of control. It's pricing itself into futility. When you emerge from college and your debt level is too high for the salary you can earn after college, you have a problem.

I've also thought for a long time that our willingness as a society to take out so much debt to pay for education has allowed its costs to inflate dramatically--much like it allowed the housing bubble to keep expanding for far too long.

Without credit, the number of people who can afford college (and not just private universities) is going to be much lower.

Here in France, *if you can pass the entrance tests* university is very often free. That system's got its own set of problems, of course--for example, perfectly good candidates are weeded out by some very arbitrary and arcane exams. But the good thing is that you emerge without loans. AND you are more likely to find work in your area of study because not everyone has access to the same degrees. . .

Really interesting topic by the way.

Funny about Money said...


Today after I explained to the lovely and bright Eng. 102 community college students why we put set off a direct quote from a verb of attribution (that was after explaining what a verb is and after explaining what attribution is) and why they're is different from their and there, one of them raised her hand and asked why they weren't taught those things in high school.

Another kid said he hadn't ever heard any of those things. And then another kid spoke up and said no one ever told him that. And then another and then another. And god help us, I ended up trying to explain how they as individuals could beat the educational shortcomings they were saddled with.

Well... You get those "low-need" students in there who, like my son, spent all 13 of their K-12 years in expensive private schools, then, like The Colorado College and Lewis and Clark (Son's preferred venues), you don't have to hire people to teach freshman comp. And you don't have to devote any cash to supporting and tutoring the children of the underclass.

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Now the state universities, at least in our parts, are pricing themselves out of the reach of the underclass (which is fast comprising the middle class -- or the former middle class), so these kids have no choice but to attend their first two years in the community colleges.

There's method in their viciousness.

Duchesse said...

Low need, now there's a euphemism!

Let me edit:
We need more students who can pay full freight, or our expensive little charming cupcake of an institution is going to go tits up.

That rewrite was free, the next one is billed at our usual rate.

Funny about Money said...

Nice edit, Duchesse. Messrs Strunk and White are singing in heaven.

How much per word is your rate? Do you charge by the client's initial gaseous output, or by the final nifty, concise version? :-D

Frugal Scholar said...

@simple--I posted a question on another site and learned that there have been many academic studies showing that increased availability (and amounts) of loans leads to increases in tuition! Upsetting!

@Funny--They are taught these things. They choose not to put them into long-term memory.

@Duchesse--I share Funny's response. AWESOME.