A new report shows that public universities are syphoning money away from grants for low-income students towards higher income students. These findings come from ProPublica and The Chronicle for Higher Education, which teamed up on the investigation.
Based partly on the U.S. Department of Education National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, the gap has almost closed between aid given to low vs high income students over the past 6 years, which means both pools are receiving almost equal funding. The investigators also found that financial aid is increasingly being given instead on the basis of athletics, merit, international students, and study abroad at various schools. And according to the report, this trend signals an effort on behalf of public universities to draw in wealthier, out-of-state students, to the detriment of those who most need aid.
The article, which focuses heavily on public universities in Pennsylvania through the lens of one student, comes amid recent reports that the Philadelphia public school system is in serious financial trouble.