Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Trinity’s High Tuition is a Barrier to College Diversity

KATIE CORT ’20

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

In a recent New York Times Article titled “Some Colleges Have More Students from the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60,” Trinity is listed fifth on the list of 38 colleges who had more students from the top 1 percent than the bottom 60 percent. Four in ten students from the top 1 percent attend an Ivy League or an elite institution, like Trinity. The article claims that it is more difficult for low income households to access top colleges, and part of this is because the poor have gotten poorer and the rich have gotten richer. It also points out that lower-income students end up earning almost as much as affluent students that attend the same college. A line graph shows that students of a lower socioeconomic status were only a small amount behind their wealthy classmates in terms of what they earn out of college.

This data proves what most off us already know, that many students who attend Trinity are from wealthy households. If you look around campus, you are likely to see students wearing designer coats, expensive labels, and trendy outfits. It is no secret that most students who attend Trinity are fortunate enough to come from wealthy households, and many were also fortunate enough to attend private high schools where they received an excellent education. This education propelled them to attend a top university like Trinity. However, not every student at Trinity comes from a wealthy household.

Some students receive financial aid or scholarships, which need to be accounted for. According to U.S News, 45 percent of full-time students at Trinity receive some sort of need based financial aid and 100% of those had their needs fully met. Although the tuition rate for attending Trinity is without a doubt steep, the college is clearly committed to helping each student regardless of their financial situation. Trinity also offers a federal and nonfederal work-study program where students can earn a portion of educational expenses.

Ultimately, the best way to solve this problem of financial disparity at Trinity would be lowering the tuition rate. The high tuition at Trinity will definitely sway some students from applying simply because they do not want to worry about  money. The steep tuition rate of attending college is one of the reasons for the statistics present in this article.

It is clear that Trinity is interested in providing education to everyone regardless of financial background, but the tuition rate can be a reason why lower-income students are not applying as often to Trinity. Although financial aid is offered, it can be difficult and time-consuming to apply, and not everyone desires to have a job in addition to schoolwork.

The expensive cost of education prevents many people from lower and middle income households from applying or attending. These lower-income students end up doing just as well, therefore they should be equal opportunity regardless of financial background. School is difficult enough, but living with money problems on top of that can make it even more stressful. Trinity needs to consider how its high tuition rate can impact its applicants. Perhaps if the tuition were lowered, then more students and parents would feel that Trinity is a sensible choice, and the student body would become more diverse.

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