For Kenyon, the discussion on economic inequality didn’t end after CSAD. Just today former President S. Georgia Nugent went on NPR’s “Morning Edition” for a segment called “When Money Trumps Need In College Admissions.” The 7 1/2-minute interview is worth a full listen, but check out highlights after the jump.
On need-sensitive schools (like Kenyon):
Most colleges today are, they are what is called “need sensitive.” It means that many colleges who have some resources — not enormous resources, but they are not impoverished — they do try to accept the class they would like to have, not taking into consideration financial need. But then, as you get toward completing the acceptance of the class and your dollars are running out, you have to begin to take into consideration need.
I wonder where Kenyon lies on the scale of “enormous resources” to “impoverished.”
On offering merit aid to kids who don’t deserve it:
Let’s say that your full tuition at your college is $20,000. So you could take $15,000 of your financial aid and offer it to one quite needy student. Or, you could take your same amount of resources and you could offer $5,000 in financial aid to three affluent students. So, in terms of the college’s revenue, offering the large package to the single student nets $5,000 for the college. Offering the small sweetener to the affluent student nets the college $45,000.
On the future of Kenyon and schools like it:
They’ve got institutions where their resource base is declining. They have to somehow find a way to pay their bills to offer the education they want to offer, and consequently, they need to increase that net revenue.
Note the lack of discussion around containing the costs of a college education, which have jumped 500% since 1985.