Rich Schools, Poor Students: Tapping Large University Endowments to Improve Student Outcomes
On January 8, 2015, President Obama initiated a nationwide conversation about community colleges and the education of the “middle class” by proposing a tuition-free community college plan. Although it has received far less attention, the President’s plan also called for effective support services that can help students stay in college long enough to advance their career goals by completing degrees or certificates and/or transferring to four-year institutions.
Rather than free tuition, which already exists for most students who need it, this study maintains instead that proven student support services are what need to be funded. The nation’s need for adequately educated students cannot be met without significant additional financial support, and the report suggests that a fair source for that support is a reallocation to underfunded public institutions of a percentage of the tax-exempt subsidy that the nation’s taxpayers provide America’s wealthiest colleges and universities.