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Higher Ed Round-up...... October 6, 1997

More affluent students attending public institutions
A recent study shows that affluent parents are increasingly sending their children to public colleges and universities - and warns that this trend could result in less opportunity for students from lower-income families to attend those institutions. In 1994, 38 percent of families earning more than $200,000 sent their children to public institutions, compared with 31 percent in 1980.

The study's authors attribute the jump partly to the fact that institutions have become more dependent on tuition dollars in the face of decreasing state funds. University of Southern California Dean Morton Schapiro said this situation has forced institutions to become "less than forthright" about need-based admissions policies. Co-author Michael McPherson, president of Macalester College, added that state legislatures are putting pressure on institutions to demonstrate the high quality of their students, prompting public colleges and universities to increase merit-based aid instead of need-based awards.

The authors also cite the rising cost of private higher education as a contributing factor. According to the study, the average cost to attend one year at a private institution is $11,600 compared with about $3,000 at a public college and university. This, coupled with the growing perception that publics offer the same quality education as privates, is leading to a more "consumerist" approach to college.

McPherson and Schapiro, two seasoned economists who have conducted extensive research on higher education and finance, will present their findings in a new book called The Student Aid Game to be published in November. (Source: Academe Today, 8/14/97)

Deans increasingly engage in fund raising
The Chronicle of Higher Education has picked up on a trend that educators have explored at CASE conferences for many years: Deans are increasingly engaging in fund-raising activities. Although both public and private institutions "compartmentalize" their fund-raising offices by assigning development officers to specific schools and programs, much of the responsibility for courting donors falls to deans.

Jerry May, vice president for development at The Ohio State University, says deans should be involved in fund raising for several reasons. They are closest to the funding need and best prepared to talk about it. Deans can give a potential donor personal attention and perhaps develop a "bond." Also deans' involvement can encourage professors to engage in fund-raising activities. Moreover, many deans understand the importance of private funding and are already seasoned solicitors. (Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/18/97)

Reprinted, with permission from CASE Flash Points.