According a recent U.S. Department of Education report, higher education has reached a troubling milestone: the country's public and private four-year colleges are now spending a greater share of their institutional aid dollars on trying to attract the students they desire than on meeting the financial need of the low- and moderate-income students they enroll.The report from the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics provides the clearest picture to date of how colleges, under the sway of enrollment management consultants, have fundamentally changed the way they spend their institutional aid dollars, to the detriment of low-income students. Fifteen years ago, colleges primarily devoted their aid funds to making college more-accessible and affordable for those with financial need. But in the years since, colleges' priorities have dramatically shifted. The report found that by 2007-08, merit aid trumped need-based aid at these institutions. www.higheredwatch.org
NEW: The Institute for College Access and Success' (TICAS) most recent report, Student Debt and the Class of 2010, found that the two-thirds of college seniors who graduated with loans in 2010 carried an average of $25,250 in debt. They also faced the highest unemployment rate for young college graduates in recent history at 9.1%. The report shows that average student debt levels vary widely by state as well as by college. To view debt levels for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and for more than 1,000 individual public and private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities.
So - we are spending tons of money to attract students who can't afford college and can't afford to pay it back because they can't get a job. Not really a great trend for American education.