Being Rich is Getting Better

Kids Count

Recently it was announced that the Obama administration will offer super rich companies a chance to bring back billions of dollars to the U.S. and the government will incentivize them to do so.

The American lawmakers that made it legal for U.S. companies to operate outside the U.S. and to hold millions and billions in tax protected locations around the world like Switzerland or Ireland now want to give those same companies yet another break. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that these advantages are compounded over and over and over again for wealthy Americans.

Now a research study from Sallie Mae, funders of college tuition for students, reveals that students from more affluent families receive more incentive money from colleges than students from families lower on the income scale. Historically, we were lead to believe that discretionary money from colleges were aimed at low income students and therefore, theoretically affording the opportunity to “break the cycle of poverty.” If current trends hold into the future, the stairway to upward social mobility may be partially occluded or eliminated altogether.

The Sallie Mae study found that students from wealthier families on average, received college awards of $10,213 while their low income counterparts received $7,127. The New America Study author Stephen Burd wrote that, “With the relentless pursuit of prestige and revenue, the nation’s public and private colleges are in danger of shutting down what has long been a path to the middle class.”

As colleges compete for students with an eye on profit, preference may be afforded to wealthier students. The New America study found that 10 percent of college admissions directors at four year colleges and nearly 20 percent of those at private liberal arts colleges report that they give affluent students a significant preference in the admissions process. Grants and scholarships covered 37 percent of low income student expense in 2012-2013 down from 46 percent in 2008-2009.

Reach the writer at hurlburt@wildblue.net

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