GOOD

Low-Income Student Enrollment Is On A 20-Year Decline At Public Universities

It's hurting social mobility.

Over the past 20 years, the cost of education has skyrocketed in the United States. Public universities have taken the largest hit, with the average cost of in-state tuition rising 237%. While college continues to be increasingly cost-prohibitive for the average American, a report by New America found another trend negatively affecting social mobility: the percentage of low-income students attending public universities is on the decline.

According to the report, since the late ‘90s, nearly two-thirds of public universities have reduced their share of students enrolled from families earning less than $37,000 a year, while a near identical share of these schools has seen an increase in students from families that make over $110,000 a year. According to New America, among the 381 universities studied, the share of low-income students has been reduced an average of 4.6% per school.


“As states have been cutting higher education budgets and with the ever-growing emphasis on prestige and rankings, these schools are becoming much more likely to go after wealthy students,” a senior policy analyst at New America told The Washington Post. The study illustrates an alarming trend for social mobility in America. According to The Washington Post, “Eight of the 10 colleges with the highest percentage of poor students landing in the upper middle class later in life are state schools.”

[quote position="left" is_quote="true"]As states have been cutting higher education budgets … these schools are becoming much more likely to go after wealthy students.[/quote]

The report used Stony Brook University in New York to show the importance that public universities play in promoting social mobility for low-income students. “A little more than half of the lowest-income [Stony Brook] students — coming from families earning less than $20,000 yearly — who attended the school in the late 1990s made it into the top 20 percent [of earners] (with annual salaries of at least $110,000) by their mid-30s. And nearly 8 in 10 of these students reached at least the middle class.”

Unfortunately, like many of the other schools studied, Stony Brook has seen a decrease in low-income student enrollment. In the late ‘90s, low-income students made up more than a third of the school; they now make up just a quarter.

The New America study should be a wake-up call to anyone who values equality in American life. Education is crucial to providing a level playing field for everyone, so for the country to thrive as a whole, this opportunity must be made available to those on all rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

Education
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health