Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Most Exclusive Gated Communities of Higher Education

By every measure I can find students from low and lower-middle income families are a large and growing share of K-12 and higher education enrollments. They represent a growing of the future workforce, voters, citizens, taxpayers and parents. How well we higher educate them is largely determining our country's future. And parts of higher education are clearly trying to serve these students.

But not in the most exclusive Gated Communities of higher education. On these campuses students with Pell Grants represent very small and usually shrinking shares of undergraduate enrollments.
  • Out of 534 public 4-year college and university campuses, the four with the worst representation of Pell Grant recipients among their undergraduate students were all public campuses in Virginia: College of William and Mary (8.3%), University of Virginia (8.4%), University of Mary Washington (9.5%) and James Madison University (9.9%). Four more public colleges and universities in Virginia made the bottom 50 institutions by this measure of class exclusivity.
  • Out of 1239 private 4-year colleges and university campuses, the 2 with the smallest shares of Pell Grant recipients among their undergraduates were also in Virginia: Washington and Lee University (3.6%) and University of Richmond (6.3%). Another private college in Virginia made the bottom 50 by this class exclusivity measure.
Virginia had 11 colleges and universities on our list of the most exclusive Gated Communities of higher education for 2003-04 out of the worst 100. Other states near the bottom of our list were: Massachusetts with 10, Pennsylvania had 9, Connecticut had 7, North Carolina and Maryland had 6 each. The geographic concentration of these class-based higher education institutions in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions is duly noted. (For further reading see my previous post on Five Questions for Enrollment Management and the December issue of OPPORTUNITY.)


At 12:22 PM, Blogger dina said...

Although VA's numbers are a bit sad, it seems unfair to not point out the public university system's remarkable new policy and funding for low-income Virginia students:

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Tebbs and Turner paper on the (mis)use of Pell grants as a measure of how well colleges and universities serve students from low-income backgrounds? Their paper suggests that your analysis in the "gated communities" piece is seriously flawed.


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