If you would like to read the original research on which I am reflecting, please read this article.
Three researchers, Catharine Hill, Gordon Winston, and Stephanie Boyd, evaluated the financial records for twenty-eight highly selective private universities to evaluate financial aid policies. Specifically, they focused on the records, prices, and costs for the 2001-2002 school year. They found that price as a fraction of family income is higher for lower-income students. They concluded that a school’s wealth heavily influences its pricing policy and the equality it is capable of extending to students across all socio-economic statuses.
Hill, Winston, and Boyd also examine the influence of schools’ wealth on their pricing policies, declaring that “more wealth supports larger general student subsidies and those subsidies act, in turn, much like a wage payment to students for peer quality” (780). The problem, however, is that such policies can, and do, easily perpetuate inequality in the opportunities presented to lower-income students, because a well-known positive correlation exists between academic quality and family income.
Though I could easily argue fervently in favor of financial reform without objectively examining such policy decisions, for my argument to be effective I have to understand all of the considerations influencing TCU’s financial policymakers, not just those that I, as a student, witness and have experienced.