Incapacitation and Its Discontents
Written by Bwog Staff
Much in the news today about paying for college and college paying for you. American studies director Andrew Delbanco and former dean of students Roger Lehecka co-wrote a New York Times article about Harvard and Yale’s distribution of financial aid. Our Ivy brethren to the north, in an attempt to make attending college possible for “families across the spectrum”, have re-calculated their financial aid allocations to benefit families earning between $120k and $180k per year.
They argue that this decision will compel other universities to do the same–helping out more middle class and upper-middle class families. The problem is that most (read: all) schools simply do not have Harvard or Yale’s budget. In all likelihood, the money going towards funding an upper-middle class student’s education is going to prevent many poorer students from receiving aid at all. The article also argues that most upper-middle class and middle class students are deserving of aid, but most “find a way to attend college.” Most poorer ones do not.
At $5.94 billion, Columbia’s endowment is paltry compared to Harvard ($35 billion) and Yale ($20 billion)—Kluge non-withstanding. It will be interesting to see if Columbia follows suit—after all, Yale only did this as a response to Harvard, with whom they knew they would be competing for students. But Columbia can’t afford to compete in the same financial league as Harvard and Yale, and poorer students can’t afford to have CU try.
Meanwhile, on the shadier side of business deals, the Associated Press is reporting that the relationship between study abroad programs and universities (including dear Alma Mater), is coming under fire. The New York Attorney General’s office has found links between colleges choosing certain programs and receiving perks—for instance, a program financing school administrators to stay in Rome for two weeks in order to check up on the program for four days. Columbia is one of 15 schools that has received subpoenas. The article was published quite serendipitously, as many students are heading en masse to JFK in the next week to go overseas for the semester. Bon voyage!