Giving Compass' Take:
- The Hechinger Report analyzed federal data indicating that over the last decade, colleges and universities have raised the prices paid by their lowest-income students to more than those paid by their highest-income ones.
- How can higher education make strides in supporting its students and leverage data to improve tuition prices and financial support?
- Read about free college and equity gaps.
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Bradley is among nearly 700 universities and colleges that, over the last decade, have raised the prices paid by their lowest-income students more than the prices paid by their highest-income ones, according to federal data analyzed by The Hechinger Report.
Lower-income students generally still pay less than higher-income ones. But the increase in college costs is falling more heavily on families that are likely the least able to absorb it, as federal and state financial aid fails to keep up with rising prices, and colleges shift institutional aid to wealthier families they know can pay at least a part of the tuition.
“Those increases can really make or break a student staying in college,” said Scott Del Rossi, vice president of college and career success at College Possible, which helps low-income and racial minority students go to and through college. “Do they put it on their credit card? Do they just give up?”
Historic trends in net price by income and other information about universities and colleges nationwide are available in the Hechinger Report’s newly updated Tuition Tracker tool.
At two out of three colleges and universities where the net price increased for both low- and high-income students over the last decade — that is, the amount paid after discounts and financial aid — it rose faster for the lowest-income ones, increasing by about 70 percent versus 27 percent, on average, the federal data show.
At 80 universities and colleges, net price more than doubled for the lowest-income students, while at 19 it more than tripled and at 10 it quintupled. At 90, including 14 public universities, net price went up for the lowest-income students while going down for the highest-income ones.
Bradley increased the net price for its students from families earning under $30,000 by 36 percent, more than three and a half times the rate of increase for its students from families that make $110,000 a year or more.
Read the full article about data on low-income and high-income students by Jon Marcus and Fazil Khan at The Hechinger Report.