Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Morning Retch: Lower income students just as smart, but less educated

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While House Republicans are working to cut $50 billion from programs that help the poor so they can give it to their rich buddies as tax cuts, rising college tuition costs are rapidly working to ensure the poor stay poor.

It is pretty simple, according to a report in the LA Times:

[Students] from families with the highest income and education levels finished college at more than double the rate of high-scoring students from the lowest socioeconomic grouping.

Sandy Baum, a College Board analyst, said the data showed that college completion increasingly was "not about academic preparation; it's about money."…

Citing federal statistics, Baum said the consequences of rising costs and family resources could be seen in the lives of students who scored highly on mathematics exams as eighth-graders in 1988.

Within the lowest socioeconomic sample, 75% of the high-scoring eighth-graders eventually enrolled in college, but 29% had earned college degrees eight years after high school graduation. Ninety-nine percent of high-scoring eighth-graders within the highest socioeconomic sample attended college, with 74% earning degrees. High scorers in the middle two socioeconomic groups entered college at a 91% rate, with 47% earning degrees.

Those who have, get.

One way they get is by way of "merit scholarships" which tend to go to students who would go to college anyway, rather than to students in the most financial need.

The Sarchasm explains that the colleges are not raising tuition to throw money at faculty salaries.

Believe you me, these tuition increases aren't paying for 3 month European sabbatical tours for rich faculty members.

My hard working "freeway-flying" professorial partner would agree.

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