Colleges routinely boast about being “need blind” in admissions, meaning that they consider applicants without regard to their ability to pay. But even if they are need blind, and a new survey suggests they are, that may be very different from being an institution that any academically qualified student can actually attend.
That’s because only a small subset of colleges pledges to meet the full need of all students they admit. That means that for most institutions, “gapping” has become the norm. That’s when a college admits a student, tells her that she probably needs $X to afford to enroll, and then provides a package that is less than $X — sometimes considerably so.
Need Blind, but ‘Gapping’ : Scott Jaschik.
This is one of those perennial stories in which a no-doubt well-intentioned reported repeats the obvious: the less money you have, the more difficult it is to get into school. It’s like a little black spot on the bright star of American progress, and then it fades.
We just can’t see class, or rather, we can’t see ourselves as a class society, because that seems to imply that we are an unequal and so unjust society. I like this story, though, because it illustrates the roller coaster ride that goes with being a little too poor to afford college.
The real story about class and education, though, is not just that the vast majority of colleges ignore economic reality in their admissions programs, it also that president’s salaries are rising at record rates. So much so, in fact, that a few of them actually felt embarrassed.