I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what’s happened at other states and other institutions. Trying to balance my “regular” work with this blog is tough, but here’s a bit of info to keep the conversation going.
(1) The proportion of students applying for financial aid and having demonstrable need is appalling low– just 25%–and it has declined substantially over time (it was 38% in 2002). This despite a general increase in awareness of aid, more help filling out the FAFSA, and “Access UVA.” The failure of needy students to apply to expensive institutions and to apply for financial aid after they enroll is one reason why financial aid isn’t nearly as effective as it could be at promoting college attainment among low-income students. Academic preparation is another, but it’s not as if that’s gotten so much worse over time. The big change– the sticker price of tuition.
(2) Among students in the bottom 25% of the income distribution at UVA (avg income ~$52K), the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board) eats up 40% of their annual family income. For wealthy students, it eats up only about 14%.