- A New America analysis of the net price of colleges — tuition and fees minus grants and scholarships — shows that hundreds of schools expect the families of low-income students to pay half of their yearly earnings to send their child to college.
- Compared to one year ago, substantially fewer private colleges charge a net price of less than $10,000 to students whose family incomes are $30,000 or less, according to the report.
- While the squeeze on low-income students is more severe with private colleges than public, about 40% of public higher education institutions expect the most financially needy students to pay for more than $10,000 per year.
The U.S. News & World Report college rankings are really taking it on the chin this week. New America points to the examples of Baylor University and Northeastern University doing everything they can to climb in the rankings — and doing so at the expense of poor students — and it criticizes the overall trend of colleges and universities doing the same thing.
Evidence suggests that colleges and universities are playing a “shell game” by using federal Pell Grants to replace their own financial need scholarships and shifting that money to attract wealthier students, which helps them advance in college rankings. The report also includes its own lists, categorizing higher ed institutions across spectrums by how many Pell Grant students they enroll and how affordable their programs are for low-income students.