Universities Slipping On Income-Based Diversity

Giving poor students a leg up in admissions is expensive for public institutions

be newsProponents and opponents of affirmative action agree that diversity in employment and higher education should be encouraged. But neither side can come to the middle on ways to achieve that.

Instead of race, some propose an income-based approach to diversity. In other words, giving poor students a leg up in the admissions process. That’s not particularly attractive, considering the price tag, reports the New York Times.

“It’s expensive,” Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, told the Times. “You have to go out and identify them, recruit them and get them to apply, and then it’s really expensive once they enroll because they need more financial aid.”

When the Supreme Court rules on an affirmative action case next month, race-based consideration could be out completely.

So how exactly will racial and socioeconomic diversity be achieved? Experts tell the Times the level of state budget support and the intensity of recruitment efforts greatly impact admissions.

In other words, if funding for public universities is cut, diversity efforts seem to be less of a priority.

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