USAToday story: Low-income students scarce at elite colleges

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: USAToday story: Low-income students scarce at elite colleges
By Dstark (Dstark) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:43 pm: Edit

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Makes me smile to know that mine's at Smith - they started (successfully) wrestling with this issue 30 years ago.

(Okay, enough gloating, sorry - I know that the fancy-schmanzy private colleges can fix their own places if they choose to, though it takes time and commitment (Amherst shows at least a decade), but it can be done -- I'm particularly appalled at what is going on at state universities, including my own - the whole point of state universities, originally, was to open up educational opportunities to those who couldn't afford the snooty places, so now look....)

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:14 pm: Edit

Mini, why is U of Washington so bad in admitting low-income students? We have Rutgers in our state and it seems pretty diverse socio-economically. Of course, I think Rutgers raised tuition but they had no choice, I thought.

By Ohmadre (Ohmadre) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:22 pm: Edit

From personal observation, elite schools are not promoted in many school systems with a higher than average number of low-income families. To some degree I think its a matter of educating guidance counselors, for at high schools like this, the counseling energy is directed to hunting for outside scholarships and the schools which are promoted are all local and often state schools. These, also, are not the high schools to which admissions counselors from elite colleges pay visits.

A student from a low-income family must either succeed in being accepted to one of the relatively few need-blind schools, or opt for the least expensive college. Schools which offer merit aid still do not often offer enough for the low-income student to afford.

So, I think that elite colleges are seldom on the radar screen at highschools in low income neighborhoods.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 03:30 pm: Edit

except my daughters inner city high school admittedly an anomaly

Part of problem is that students are not prepared for college cause they are not prepared for high school and so on down the line
Garfield has put energy into breaking that chain
but for many students it is like being expected to be healthy when you have been living on fast food since birth.
Not a bad sequeway, since you need good food for optimum growth including your brain, and good food is often expensive.
poor families do not have the food, the skills to prepare cheap food or the energy or the time to do so.
Schools that serve poor children are often not the best of the best, usually they are the reverse. New inexperienced teachers who leave after a year. Families may not be involved in school, because of language or economic barriers. The environment at home is not conducive necessarily to preparing a child for school everyday, and that is a dramatic understatement.
Even if a student manages to make it through high school, and has the qualifications to attend a rigorous college, they may not have the money to meet the EFC which can be ridiculous in some cases.Our EFC is about tuition & room and board for a public instate U. We decided our money was much better spent taking that EFC and putting it toward a private college, rather than public big name U

By Garland (Garland) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 03:54 pm: Edit

EK--Wow, your school is a different world from the one mine went to, never mind the inner city schools near us. We don't offer the APs, the enrichment classes, the college visits, etc to the extent your school does. How does a public school afford this?

In regards to your second point: I work in a college whose upper 25% of SATs is apparently 920+. I was actually surprised to see that reported, as I rarely see a stduent whose SAT is over 900; 6-700s are fairly frequent, and most are in the 800s. When I see 900, I think, "wow, strong student." Last year, we had a guy in our program whose score was close to 1100; he transfered.

The students I see are woefully unprepared for college, any college, much less an "elite". It's a sin to hear students tell me they were in AP English, but their V SAT is below 500. Or they were in NHS, but they are placing into pre-algebra. Not only is their preparation weak, but they have no idea how to approach college. Most passed HS because they were nice kids, so little was expected of them. When more is expected, they are at a loss for a response. Many fall back on learned helplessness and refusal to take responsibility: for instance, if they miss a class, they assume they're not responsible for the assigned work.

Most of the students here are low-income, first generation. They have no role models for how to be a college student. They learned next to nothing in HS. It really is sad, and this school, like hundreds of others filled with students like these, also tries to break the chain, but it's an uphill battle.

By Ohmadre (Ohmadre) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:00 pm: Edit

Garland, I fear your system, like those around me,is more the rule. Wow EmeraldKity what a great model your system is. Is it nationally recognized for what it has been able to accomplish?

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:02 pm: Edit

the public school doesn't pay for college visits I assume the colleges do.
We are new to the school, it just started barely a week ago, but I know that the PTA is very strong and raises money to fund extra programs. THey also have strong alumni assoc, Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendricks,Bruce Lee all attended Garfield, and while Mr Jones is the only one still alive, it contributes to a strong positive vision of the school for the community.

By Garland (Garland) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit

I understand that college visits are not paid for, but someone has to work to get those schools to visit--we sure don't see that caliber of visit in our neck of the woods.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit

I too found this article troubling. It's beginning to sound like de facto economic segregation. And this is supposed to be the country in which if you work hard, you can succeed, regardless of your family background.

Mini, I agree, it's particularly troubling that this is an issue even at State universities.

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:29 pm: Edit

It isn't the state Us fault...they don't get the money from state govt. Our local university raised tuition 15% which is pretty steep. In the meantime all the building projects that were started in the go-go 90s have stalled.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:32 pm: Edit

I agree state finances are a big part of the problem, probably the main problem.

But aren't some state Us reducing need-based aid in favor of merit aid? I think you could argue this is a good thing b/c it attracts better quality students who would otherwise go to more elite schools, but the flip side is that less $$ is available for kids who may not be able to go to college at all w/o some help.

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:36 pm: Edit

True. Lots of kids I know got merit aid from Rutgers. And pretty well-off kids too.

I was trying to find out if this is the case at other states as well...probably. But I know for example that U Michigan offers merit aid to very very few students. Must be a function of how highly rated the state U is.

By Bookiemom (Bookiemom) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:37 pm: Edit

Achat: Most low-income students in the Seattle area go to community colleges. It's far cheaper than U. Wash.

Then it's just hard to transfer to U of Wash. We have sort of a scandal here in Wash. State (specifically in the greater Seattle area) with our community college/4-yr. college situation. There are a lot of community colleges in Seattle, but as far as universities, there is only the U of Wash. Right now they are taking fewer or no transfers--I have heard both from multiple people. If you graduate from comm. college with justdecent grades, you can't then get in at U. of Wash. and you have to move to another city to go on with finishing your degree.

U. of Wash. also has selective admission to many of its majors, such as business, so if you graduate from comm. college and then want to major in business, you have a hard time getting admitted to that major. Also, U. of Wash. does not have an undergrad education major--very difficult for anyone in Seattle who wants to become a teacher.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit

Achat -- you're probably right about Michigan -- it's reputation is so good that they get quite a few people from out of state who are willing to pay out of state rates to go there!

I think you could argue both ways on this issue -- if I had a smart kid at a State U, even if I was paying her tuition, I would be glad to know they are getting other smart kids by offering them full rides -- I know U-Md has done this and has gotten kids who have been accepted to top private schools w/o aid. but of course the down side is that there is only so much $$ to go around...

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:42 pm: Edit

Emeraldkity, now I am impressed! I honestly believe that our counselors don't know what is out there in private schools. They certainly don't educate students on the possibilities of merit aid at those schools or explain that their EFC's could qualify them for need based aid. They seem entrenched in the whole state u, federal aid picture and encourage students to apply for outside scholarships. Every year there's one student who cleans up on those, but most don't get enough to help. There isn't anything wrong with state schools. My husband and I went to one. It's just not the whole picture. We had to research everything on our own. Hats off to your school!

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 05:07 pm: Edit

From our school district (which is moderately affluent) there are about a 150 kids going to Rutgers. I also hear from neighboring districts that have trouble sending kids to Rutgers.
I would guess it is hard to get into our state U as well. We do have some community colleges and we also have TCNJ which is also a state college and is better in some ways than Rutgers. Rutgers also has a great teacher's college.

I think I'm going to find out how hard it is to transfer to Rutgers from a community college. Thanks everyone, I do learn something every day!

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

"Then it's just hard to transfer to U of Wash. We have sort of a scandal here in Wash. State (specifically in the greater Seattle area) with our community college/4-yr. college situation. There are a lot of community colleges in Seattle, but as far as universities, there is only the U of Wash. Right now they are taking fewer or no transfers--I have heard both from multiple people. If you graduate from comm. college with justdecent grades, you can't then get in at U. of Wash. and you have to move to another city to go on with finishing your degree."

So the scandal goes like this: UW has raised tuition and fees to a point where it is literally true that what we are paying at Smith per year (granted, we hit the jackpot) is about half of what we would have at UW, even with the usual scholarship. More and more students can't afford it, especially as, in many areas, it is becoming more difficult to graduate in four years. Budget cuts have meant the school hasn't kept pace with population increases; and now that they've basically eliminated African-American and Hispanic admissions of freshman, there is no place left to cut without public outcry. So raising tuition also dampens demand (among freshman), and increases the proportion of students whose parents earn in excess of $100k a year.

Now poor students, and those who couldn't afford a residential setting, were always told to go to community colleges for the first two years, save some money, and enter as juniors. (That, in fact, is how the great bulk of minority students, outside of recruited athletes, have been entering UW.) Last month, the U announced they wouldn't be taking ANY community college transfers this year (which is a simple way of eliminating most minorities from campus.)

But wait - at some of the community colleges, admissions are getting tight. As in extraordinarily tight in certain programs. My wife, who just was admitted to the local nursing program, faced selectivity odds about the same as getting into Princeton.

What to do? New standardized tests - in our state we call them WASLs -- will soon be required for high school graduation. Problem is we already know from already collected data that low-income students and minorities score much more poorly, and "fail" more often than rich ones (despite a record of accompplishment once they get to 4-year colleges). By capping high school graduations of minorities and low-income folk (you have to remember that, in Washington, it is more low-income folks than minorities, and it is really easy to eliminate minorities from access to higher education), their demand on community colleges and UW will be lessened.

The result -- the entire system - from kindergarten through university - will now become one giant recruiting poster -- for the military (except you can't get in without a high school diploma), and for Wal-Mart.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 05:57 pm: Edit

Mini, how does Washigton State and Western Washington U handle lower income students?

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 06:03 pm: Edit

U of Washington also has a quota for out of state and foreign students probably taking away more seats. As does Rutgers.

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 06:05 pm: Edit

Voters did away with anything resembling "affirmative action" about 5 years ago. WSU and WWU are still, to this point, admitting transfers, but to understand the situation, you need to see the state demographics. WSU is located out in the middle of a pea and lentil field about an hour and a half south of Spokane (actually closer to Moscow, Idaho.) There are no minorities in the area to speak of. (Hispanic migrant workers are about 2-3 hours to the west in orchards, etc.)

Bellingham, where WWU is located, is 90 minutes north of Seattle, depending on traffic. There are American Indian minorities who live in the area, and some Hispanic migrant blueberry workers, but that's about it.

95% of the rest are in the Seattle/Tacoma area. UW is the only large school to which they could reasonably be expected to commute. (There is a struggling UW-Tacoma campus, but very small, and Evergreen, here in Olympia, is not particularly inviting to transfers, being so "culturally different".) So when you close UW to community college transfers you are basically closing off virtually the only semi-affordable opportunity for a minority or low-income student to get a 4-year degree.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 07:57 pm: Edit

A note on Garfield HS. While many minority students attend and it is in a poor area, it also is the academic magnet for all of Seattle and the choice of many top white and asian students in the district. There have been several reports regarding the fact that most of the upper level honors type students are white and asian.

By Irock1ce (Irock1ce) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 10:39 pm: Edit

At my H.S. - Berkeley High School, there is a very obvious split between the top 5%(prob less) of each class and the rest of the school. We are known to be very very diverse. In fact, we are something like 40%African American, 40% White, 15% Latino and 5% Asian.(I think it may be more like 25% white for the new incoming classes). However, we still produce many ivy league students. The only problem is that this only applies to the top 5% of the school. Everyone else pretty much rots away. On average, only about 10 black males go to college each graduating class (out of a good 200) and 5 of them would probably be atheletes. This is a very serious problem I see at all the schools around the United States. Schools claim to be very diverse and seem to offer low-income and minority students lots of opportunites while in actuality, they are often left to rot away. Our school had an "Academic Choice" program which started a couple years ago that essentially sucked away the better teachers from the "normal school" and left everyone who was not in AC with second hand teachers and a very bad chance at receiving a motivating teacher. I, although i am applying to elite schools, refused to join in this program which was started after several wealthy white parents complained to the school that their class rooms were "too ghetto". This year, AC is dying away as our principal is getting rid of it. The way i see it, our schools must not have tracking programs. AP classes are always going to be there, but the whole idea of "Honors" classes end up removing many great teachers from students who need them more than ever. A great student will not suffer much even with a teacher that isn't so amazing (I experienced this, i went to the classes with teachers that had horrible credentials and at least half the class failed and i turned out fine), while a unmotivated student from the beginning, while lose all interest in school with an uninteresting and unmotivating teacher.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 12:41 am: Edit

Well actually the area considers that there are "two" Garfields. HIghly advanced middle school students have priority to attend Garfield, and they often do. Because of this Garfield has more advanced placement classes than any public school in the state and often has close to the same number of National merit scholars as does Lakeside the premier prep school in the state.
However,there are several programs for students to prepare them for higher level course work, especially for minority and AA students. My daughter isn't highly advanced or minority but she wants to take classes that will prepare her for college. She is in a program that is taught by head of english and head of math dept, to develop higher level thinking skills and support her work in class. I am very excited by the level of professionalism and by expectations of teachers at Garfield.
Actually being in the school it is not as segregated as it sounds. While their award winning orchestras and jazz bands have few black students which is a scandal, much of the blame can be placed on districts which have been cutting music education back in elem and middle school.
Our asian friend for instance has been taking Suzuki violin since she was 2 and for years has lessons before school. Not some thing my daughter wanted to do but I am excited that she will get to hear some fantastic music performed by her friends.

By Caseyatbat (Caseyatbat) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 02:31 am: Edit

"So the scandal goes like this: UW has raised tuition and fees to a point where it is literally true that what we are paying at Smith per year (granted, we hit the jackpot) is about half of what we would have at UW, even with the usual scholarship. More and more students can't afford it, especially as, in many areas, it is becoming more difficult to graduate in four years."

Mini, you are a gifted writer and perhaps not a fan of state U's, but let's not purposely mislead people. Your daughter is special, and indeed must have hit the jackpot at her private school. But I believe your above statement implicitly misleads, and I get frustrated at that type of comment here on CC. I have 2 children at the U-Dub. I believe both have had tremendous educations, regardless of price. Let's be specific. We paid $4,968.00 (no scholarships) for tuition (full time student) for each of our kids last year. We paid $5,700 for room and board for each of them. I think that is one heck of a deal. Just over 10K--total. If your daughter is paying half of that, the point should be that your daughter is one lucky/deserving kid--not that your private school education is half of what those darn state U's are nowadays. Beyond that, I could name 30 of my children's friends that graduated in 4 years...and could not name 1(!) that had their act together that didn't. Where the heck is everyone getting this info from...?? All I know is from personal experience, and I don't believe I know every "exception" attending the U. If what you say is backed by fact, fine. By personal experience, I have NOT seen problems getting out "on time."
My third is looking at LAC's and that may be the route she takes. I've been down this road twice before, and for the OVERALL experience, I think that our good state U's are super super deals for the right kids. It really blows my mind that I read more complaints about the high cost of our state U's than I do about paying $40K/yr at privates. Sometimes I wonder how people on CC looks at a "cost value"...nothing is too good for the little darlings, huh?!
Yes, state U's have many financial problems these days, and don't we all have the answers!? Those of us with "good" students want cheap tuition with lots of merit aid (almost non-existent at U-Dub), while low income/minority families look to the schools for affordable education. And NOBODY wants to pay their hard earned $$ for more taxes to continue to support the schools. And then we wonder why the schools are squeezed??
Personally, I think we got one great deal.

Just reread this before posting--and I sound like I'm ranting, LOL. I respect many of your posts--just appreciate facts presented as facts.

By Bookiemom (Bookiemom) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 02:49 am: Edit

Mini: re Seattle college scene--you forgot UW-Bothell, which does give some students another place to transfer. They have limited places and majors, but at least it is another avenue.

I don't think UW declaring they won't take any transfers is an attempt to keep minority or low-income students out of the U. I think it's a bid to increase funding for the U. from the legislature.

It is so sad to see all these kids march off to community college here in Seattle, because I know that almost all of them will not finish college. The only kids I know (in 20 years in Seattle) who have successfully finished community college (all took three years or more to graduate with AA), transferred to a four-year college (two to Central Washington, one to WSU), and graduated from college all have two parents behind them, excellent suburban high school backgrounds, nice homes, adequate family income, and so on.

The teaching and nursing education situation in Seattle is truly unbelievable. I know two lovely young women who have finished comm. college who want to be teachers and another one who wants to be a nurse, but they can't get this basic education anywhere at a public college in the whole Seattle area.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:49 am: Edit

what many students do is take an LPN or RN program at a community college, like my former sil has.
She worked at a bank and attended school while raising her kids and now she has a great job as an RN in Olympia

I didn't recommend public school route to my daughter. SHe is going to graduate with a biology degree and possibly go to grad school, or get a one year teaching certificate. But she is happy teaching in private school system, less administrative nightmare
Ironic to consider that this presidential administration would love to have publicly funded private schools re :vouchers, where it is totally up to the school what credentials a teacher has.
But with nclb teachers are limited to teaching in areas they are certificated in, so a fantastic history teacher at my daughters high school couldn't be hired becuase his certification was in history not social studies. Now we may be stuck hiring from the "pool" of teachers who still didn't have a job the week after school began, and my impression is leftovers, are leftovers for a reason, I guess we just put them back into the fridge till they get moldy and maybe the district will let us throw them out and start over?

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 10:47 am: Edit

This is an article from today's paper about boarding schools for low-income students, often in their home cities. We've been hearing for some years about one in DC (called SEED, started by two Princeton graduates, one of whom is Indian-American), and I've always thought it was an excellent idea, a way to provide a good education AND a good learning environment during after-school hours.

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 11:19 am: Edit

University of Washington:

Let's go to the hard numbers. If you go to the University's website, they provide a student budget for resident in-state students. It currently stands at $15,852 per year. According to the University, it is rising at an average rate of 9% per year. You do the math.

According to the University of Washington, 39% of students graduate in 4 years. It has been dropping consistently over the past 5 years. Six-year graduation rates are now under 70% for the first time in the University's history.

I do not for one minute believe that the new community college policy was meant to shut out minorities and low-income folks. The U had already effectively done that, for the most part, and there just aren't that many minorities to begin with. But it did have the impact of closing the last significant source of minorities on campus other than athletes. The final closing will occur when they begin to require WASLs for entry. This will sink the number to something approaching (but never reaching) zero.

I do believe that the U would want to increase its funding, but I don't believe that closing entry to community college transfers is a political gambit. Dick Thompson (who was the provost at the time this took place) is the state's former Medicaid director (and a friend) - he knows not to play this game, as the legislature will often take him up on it! Community college transfers are expensive! With freshmen, you can stick 200 (I'm being charitable) in an introductory psychology course and they are "happy". It's much more difficult when you already have students with well-developed interests, who need more specialized (and smaller) courses, and, especially, access to expensive lab space, and for whom TAs no longer fill the bill. It is much more "cost-efficient" to take (white) freshman, if you have the choice.

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 12:08 pm: Edit

One of the ironies, of course, is that graduation rates are dropping at the same time average SAT scores and "selectivity" are rising. I think we will see a "snowballing" of that effect in coming years.

By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 12:16 pm: Edit

Mini, what is the African-American and Hispanic population in the state of Wash. Are you considering Asians a "minority" that is being shut out?

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 12:42 pm: Edit

I have stopped using the term "Asian" in referring to a "minority" group (I work in state government, and we run up against this problem all the time.) We have many third and fourth generation Japanese-Americans and fifth generation Chinese Americans who are, generally speaking, doing very well. But we have a very high population of Laotians, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Mien people who, on the whole are not doing very well. Then we have a substantial population of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders who are, to use a euphemism, "high utilizers of social services". Then there is a strong Asian Indian contingent around Microsoft and the University.

Parts of this population are, in fact, being shut out. Others, not. "Asian" is just not a very useful descripter, and in our state, it is even less useful than elsewhere.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 12:56 pm: Edit

"asians" I think have a higher graduation rate and college attendance than "whites" but I suspect many of those so catagorized are like my daughters friends who have lived in Washington for generations and who are part of large established family support systems .
But the Asians particular pacific islanders and native americans have a much harder time getting support at school
For instance the same director heads up the ESL/gifted/Sped population in our district.
Guess who are most effective at getting their voices heard?

By Caseyatbat (Caseyatbat) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

A different spin..again.
As stated above, costs for one year at U. of Wash. are $15,582. That includes tuition and room/board ($11,500) AND approx. $3,500 for personal expenses, books and transportation--add't costs that also need to be added on top of that private school "budget" of almost $40K. Geesh, with some poor planning, you could almost spend that much on transportation alone getting from west to east coast a few times!!

I think our state U's continue to be one great dollar value for our kids. Now I admit, neither of mine felt any abuse attending freshman intro classes with 199 other sets of ears getting the same lecture as they did. They still heard what they needed to. It certainly didn't keep them from learning, I'm sure of that.

And it's funny that we are talking about diversity issues with the U-Dub of all places. I believe "minority" percentages are somewhere around 35% on a campus that is known for having an accepting, open-minded and diverse student population. Asians make up about 25% of the total enrollment and are about 12-13? of the total Seattle population. To the best of my knowledge the only "major" minority (10% of Seattle's pop.) that is very underrepresented is African-American, which I believe makes up about 3 percent of the U's enrollment. Hopefully, programs like The Diversity Scholars program will continue to make inroads to encourage minority enrollment. Diversity scholars, subsidized and supported by groups like Costco, Chateau St. Michelle and others have raised over 7 million dollars to bring over 200 minority students to the U. It is not just a matter of enrollment--it involves "recruiting" also.

Yes, the community college fiasco is a big problem, but I believe it is a cost issue--not a devious plan to cut out minorities.

The nursing situation at the U (#1 ranked nursing program in country) and all over this country is simply a disaster.

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit

Calculations for personal expenses at U and at the private colleges are included in both (and are about the same). Anyway, these are the university's figures, and I don't believe they pulled them out of thin air. Take a thousand off if you like or add a thousand on, folks with $30k and below family incomes, and with students often contributing to the family budget are not likely to be able to pay for it, especially rising at a rate of 9% per year. (I see folks like this in my work daily.)

Asians - as noted - "which" Asians? I do NOT believe the community college stuff is a devious plan to cut out minorities -- but it has that effect, while at the same time holding places open for non-minority freshman with higher selectivity and SAT scores (and family income). I don't know why one should be surprised (I'm not) - these are the folks with political clout. African-Americans, Hispanics, and lower income Asians will virtually disappear from campus. One of the odd impacts is that graduation rates will sink even lower: folks coming in with two-year degrees are more likely to know precisely what it is they are going to need to finish; often, freshman don't really have a clue.

Oddly enough, the nursing program at UW is much easier to get into than the one at our local community college (and, I imagine, the Seattle community colleges as well), because it is a 4-year B.A. in nursing, rather than a working RN degree (which, for most students, including my wife, is 3 years, the first year of which being prereqs and can be completed part-time, and sometimes on-line.)

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