The College Puzzle Blog
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Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

Does Financial Aid Policy For Elite Colleges Trickle Down To Broad Access Colleges

The April 20 New York Times education section has a good article on the big change in financial aid policies for America"s most selective colleges. It clearly describes the major change to provide more grant money to the middle and lower income students. More low income students are getting a signal that they can go to these colleges,because the aid policies are easy to understand.
But the article also points out that very few students attend these colleges with incomes under $ 100,000, and the total enrollment of these schools is less than 5% of the overall college enrollment- eg 45% of students attend 2 year schools.
The conclusion at the end is my concern. it implies that what the elites do will drive the discussion for financial aid policies for broad access colleges that are open enrollment or non selective and where the low and middle income students go. I once thought this might be true , but after completing 10 years of research no longer think so. Pell grants and state merit scholarship programs are not influenced much by what Harvard, Stanford, Virginia,or Amherst do. -see http://bridgeproject.stanford.edu .

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